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Kremlin stresses Astana and Geneva talks on Syria not alternatives, but unified process

Neither of the formats of negotiations on Syria can substitute for the other, the Kremlin spokesman noted
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov  Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. The Kremlin does not think that the Astana talks on Syria may substitute for the Geneva process, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told TASS.

"It is an integral process," Peskov stated when asked if the format of the Astana negotiations might substitute for the Geneva talks.

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhkmanov has said that another meeting in Astana on a settlement in Syria would be held on March 14-15 and the guarantor countries were in the process of discussing its format and level.

On February 6 the Joint Operational Group for monitoring ceasefire in Syria, consisting of experts from Russia, Turkey, Iran and also the United Nations and Jordan met in session for the first time. It was formed after a conference on the Syrian settlement, which Kazakhstan’s capital hosted on January 23-24.

The second international meeting on Syria took place in Kazakhstan’s capital on February 15-16. The participants discussed control of the ceasefire and the outlook for intra-Syrian consultations in Geneva. Taking part in the meeting in Astana were the guarantor states (Russia, Iran and Turkey) and also Jordan, the United States and the United Nations and delegations from Damascus and the armed opposition.