The next installment in the Astana format meetings on Syria will be held in Sochi on July 30-31, according to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin. Ceasefire guarantors Iran, Turkey, and Russia will be meeting together with observers and Syrian parties.
UNITED NATIONS, June 29. /TASS/. The next Astana format meeting that will involve three Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations (Iran, Russia and Turkey) will be held in Sochi on July 30-31, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin told reporters on Friday.
“It will be held in the last two days of July, that has essentially been agreed, and in the format that we used before, that is, the three guarantor countries, the observer states and the Syrian parties,” he said. “I believe the work in the Astana format is a big achievement, and we would like to push ahead with these efforts.”
According to Vershinin, an important result of the Astana process is the setting up of the working group on exchanging detainees and bodies of those killed. “This is hard work, but so far the only efforts, which help establish trust between the parties to the conflict,” he stressed. “This group held its regular meeting in Ankara recently, and it will continue to work in the future, including, I hope, on the sidelines of the Astana format meeting in Sochi on July 30-31.”
The regular multilateral meetings have played a crucial role in mitigating the conflicts in Syria as well as coordinating efforts against terrorism. A major part of handling the Syria situation is acknowledging the Syrian government’s right to territorial integrity and its legitimacy, something that Western powers are staunchly against, as they seek after the overthrow of the popularly elected regime of Bashar al-Assad, even funding and training various terrorist factions towards this aim. Western interventionism also seeks to disrupt relations and counterterrorism efforts of regional powers such as Turkey and Iran, even seeking to establish interventionalist coalitions with interests and ideologies counter to those of Iran, Turkey, and Syria itself.