With conclusion of Astana meeting, Syria still struggles for peace
Feb 17 2017 by Joanne Wise
Trump has reiterated that combatting Daesh is a priority and he ordered the Pentagon to put a new strategy in place by the end of February.
Kazakhstan hosted talks between rebels and the Syrian government in January to pave the way for the resumption of the United Nations process, which has been on hold since last April.
"The final document could be agreed upon at a plenary session with the participation of all delegations which is to be held tomorrow [February 16]", he said.
A new round of UN-backed negotiations is due to begin in Geneva where the main Syrian opposition body wants to be face-to-face with the Damascus government.
. All participants of the meeting have already arrived.
Kazakhstan, Moscow's close political ally, said last week that the negotiations would focus on consolidating the ceasefire.
Mohammad Al Aboud, a senior rebel official, said the delegation would not attend.
Although it remains uncertain yet how the worldwide coalition may function from now on and whether it would be willing to act in tandem with Russian Federation toward a likely solution in Syria, we may argue that the USA would cautiously approach any peace settlement in Syria brokered with the participation of Iran.
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The Kazakh Foreign Ministry says the talks, to be held in preparation for United Nations -brokered Syria negotiations in Geneva, will be postponed until Thursday.
He added that the USA remains committed to a political resolution of the Syrian crisis.
"Now is the right time to step up efforts to normalise the political process in Syria", de Mistura told Lavrov in comments translated into Russian by the state-run TASS news agency.
The first round of the discussions, which was similarly mediated by Tehran, Moscow and Ankara, took place in January and brought together representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups for the first time during almost six years of conflict.
"Specific result of the Astana talks consists in the adoption of a statement concerning a joint group, including representatives from Russia, Turkey, and Iran, which would work on a regular basis in order to maintain and strengthen the ceasefire regime", he said.
Russian Federation proposed a series of parallel intra-Syrian negotiations in coordination with Turkey and Iran previous year in Astana to reinforce a shaky ceasefire.
The UN-mediated peace talks seeking to broker a political end to the conflict, which has killed an estimated 400,000 people since March 2011, were scheduled to start on February 8 before being postponed twice. The head of the Syrian government delegation also demanded that Turkey withdraws its troops from Syrian territory and respect Syria's sovereignty.