Astana guarantor states affirm commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity and finding political solution to crisis

Astana, SANA – The guarantor states of the cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria renewed on Friday their commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity and finding a political solution to the crisis in it.

Reading the final statement at the end of Astana 8 meeting, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said that the guarantor states of the cessation of hostilities in Syria (Russia, Iran, and Turkey) are committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as they are working to stabilize the ceasefire in the de-escalation zones.

The statement welcomed the achievements in fighting terrorism in Syria, particularly against Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization, affirming their determination to continue cooperation to eliminate Daesh, al-Nusra, and other terrorist organizations completely and preventing terrorists from going to other countries and areas.

The guarantor states called for taking immediate and active international steps to help Syrians achieve a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council resolution No.2254, through a comprehensive and transparent Syrian-led process that leads to drafting a new constitution supported by the Syrian people as well as holding elections supervised by the United Nations.

The statement said that guarantor states are determined to work towards supporting the preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian city of Sochi on January 29-30 with the participation of all segments of Syrian society, calling on all Syrian sides to cooperate actively to achieve this goal.

The statement noted that the guarantor states will hold a preliminary meeting on January 19-20 in Sochi before the Congress to prepare for it, adding that the file of kidnapped and detainees should be agreed upon in order to build confidence between the Syrian sides.

The guarantor states also stressed the need to continue efforts to bolster the cessation of hostilities agreement and the performance of the de-escalation zones, in addition to announcing that the 9th Astana meeting will be held in the second half of February 2018.

At the start of the plenary session of Astana 8, Abdrakhmanov said that the cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria has been going on for 12 months and this in itself is a great achievement for the permanent consultations in Astana, describing Astana platform as unique.

He added that the accomplishing of de-escalation zones is one of the most important steps to create appropriate conditions for continuing the dialogue under the umbrella of the UN in Geneva to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

He pointed out that Kazakhstan will continue to work toward achieving a political solution in Syria, noting that the participants in the Astana meeting reaffirm the assertion that there is no military solution for the crisis, hoping that cooperation in Astana will lead to peace in Syria in 2018.

Manar/Ghossoun / Hazem Sabbagh

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