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China ready for cooperation within Astana format, says diplomat

The Astana Syrian peace process was initiated by Russia, Turkey and Iran

BEIJING, November 24. /TASS/. China is ready for cooperation with Astana format countries to help settle the Syrian crisis and achieve peace and stability in Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Thursday.

"Since its launch, the Astana format has been playing a constructive role in coordinating the efforts of de-escalating the crisis in Syria and ceasing the hostilities. China attaches great importance to this format and is ready to work with all its participants to restore peace and stability in Syria by joint efforts," the spokeswoman said.

Special Russian Presidential Representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev told a press conference on November 23 that following the results of the 19th international meeting on Syria held in the Astana format Russia was certain that China’s participation in this effort as an observer would be useful. The Turkish side was still exploring this possibility, he added.

The Astana Syrian peace process was initiated by Russia, Turkey and Iran. The three countries are the guarantors of the peace settlement to the Syrian conflict between Damascus and the Syrian opposition. Talks in this format kicked off in January 2017 in Kazakhstan’s then-capital city of Astana, its eponymous name. Although the city was renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019, the negotiating format retained the name.