15th International Meeting on Syria within Astana Format starts activities in Sochi, Russia

Sochi, SANA- The 15th International Meeting on Syria within Astana Format started activities on Tuesday in the Russian Sochi Resort at the Black Sea coast with the participation of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation headed by Dr. Ayman Sousan, Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister.

Delegations from the guarantor states of Astana Process are participating in the meeting as they include the Russian delegation, headed by Russian President’s Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and the delegation of the Iranian Islamic Republic, headed by Senior Aide of the Iranian Foreign Minister for Special Political Affairs Ali Asghar Khaji, in addition to the delegation of the Turkish regime.

The participants in the meeting also include representatives of the countries that enjoy the observer status in the Astana process, namely Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, as well as the United Nations, whose delegation is headed by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria Geir Pedersen, as well as a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which provided to host the Astana process, and representatives from the so-called “Syrian armed opposition.”

Activities of the first day of the two-day meeting began with bilateral and multilateral closed-door talks between different delegations, while tomorrow the general closing session of the meeting will take place.

The 14th meeting of the talks within Astana Format was held in the Kazakh Capital city of Nur-Sultan in December 2019, and the 15th meeting was scheduled to be held in March 2020, but it has been delayed several times due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Regarding the agenda of the meeting, Russian press sources noted that the participants will discuss a bunch of pressing issues, including the tense situation in the de-escalation zone in Idleb where the crimes committed by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization continue.

Last Sunday, Deputy Director of the Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimim, Admiral Vyacheslav Sytnik announced that terrorists are planning to carry out provocations in the de-escalation zone in Idleb as terrorists of the so-called “White Helmets” arrived in the zone along with equipment to shoot false flag chemical attacks to accuse the Syrian Arab Army.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov announced that in the de-escalation zone in Idleb there are about 17,000 terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra and other illegitimate armed groups which the Turkish regime has not implemented its pledges to separate from terrorists under the agreement with Russia.

The participants in the current Sochi meeting will also discuss the humanitarian situation, particularly in light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the issues of the reconstruction after the crisis as well as the decisions of the International Conference on the Return of Syrian Refugees which was held in Damascus last November, in addition to the acts of the US occupation and the separatist militia affiliated to it in al-Jazeera region and the acts of the Turkish occupation and its agents in northern Syria.

Ruaa al-Jazaeri

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