Joint Task Force meeting on Syria in Astana discusses implementing cessation of hostilities

Astana, SANA-Delegations from Russia, Iran, Turkey and the United Nations concluded on Monday a meeting of experts of the Joint Task Force on the crisis in Syria in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

In a press conference following the meeting, head of the Russian delegation to Astana Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov said the participants in the meeting discussed the course of implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement, the special measures towards creating a mechanism of efficient monitoring and control with an aim to ensure an efficient implementing of the agreement and preventing any provocations.

Gadzhimagomedov, who is also the deputy head of the Russian Armed Forces’ main operational department, added that the meeting also focused “on mutual confidence-building measures to ensure an unimpeded humanitarian access”.
He said that the participants agreed to continue to work on the separation of the so-called “moderate opposition” and terrorist organizations in Syria and fight ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations.

He added that Russia prepared two additional documents about monitoring the cessation of hostilities and determining the conditions and obligations of the parties to provide humanitarian corridors and other details.

He noted that another meeting of the Joint Task Force on the crisis in Syria c will be held on February 15-16 before the meeting in Geneva.

“The Jordanian side came through with some very interesting information during the talks – it outlined the situation in southern Syria, the readiness of opposition regiments in southern provinces of Syria to join the cessation of hostilities and their readiness to conduct operations against international terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra,” Gadzhimagomedov said.

In turn, the UN representative at the Joint Task Force Milos Strugar described the meeting as “successful”, adding that the UN delegation participated in this meeting without full membership.

Lavrov: Astana technical meeting aims at discussing practical steps to monitor implementation of cessation of hostilities

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed  that the meeting of the Joint Task Force on Syria that was held in Astana earlier today at the expert level aimed at discussing practical steps to monitor the implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria by the guarantor countries.

In a joint press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow, Lavrov said Astana technical meeting is dedicated to part of those previous agreements that deal with the work of the Joint Task Force of the guarantor countries that aims at monitoring all parties’ abidance by the cessation of hostilities.

Lavrov noted that military experts should discuss with the participation of diplomats how to formulate a clear task of this mechanism, pointing out that the Astana meeting will seek to stimulate the Syrian comprehensive talks.

On February 2, Spokesman of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anwar Zhaynakov announced that delegations from Russia, Turkey and Iran will hold a technical meeting in Astana on settling the crisis in Syria with participation of UN

For its part the Russian Defense Ministry announced last Thursday that experts from Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United Nations will take part in the first meeting of the Joint Operational Group on February 6 to discuss implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement, finding measures for monitoring the agreement and preventing its violations, and solving issues related to delivering the humanitarian aid.

The final statement of Astana meeting that took place on January 23-24 on the crisis in Syria reiterated commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. The statement also stressed that the only solution to the crisis in Syria will be through a political process .The statement announced the formation of
a tripartite mechanism for observing the cessation of hostilities agreement and the insistence on fighting terrorism.

H.Zain/ Ghossoun/ Said

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