13 Feb 2018 10:48

Ninth round of Astana-hosted Syria talks to take place after Syria truce guarantor countries' FMs in Astana - Kazakh Foreign Ministry

ASTANA. Feb 13 (Interfax) - The ninth round of Astana-hosted talks on de-escalating the conflict in Syria will be held after a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Syria truce guarantor countries, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abrakhmanov said.

"A date and a concrete agenda for [the upcoming ministerial meeting] are being specified, including with our participation. In this context, it has been agreed to hold the next round of the Astana process itself after the abovementioned meeting of the foreign ministers of the Astana process guarantor countries," Abdrakhmanov told reporters on the sidelines of a Kazakh government meeting on Tuesday.

"Everyone has to make certain efforts to convene a meeting of the foreign ministers of three countries such as the Russian Federation, Iran and Turkey. The schedule is quite busy, especially in light of the events unfolding in the east today. Therefore, the most likely date is March. In February, it will be difficult to finalize the schedules following a technical meeting," he said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters on Monday that a trilateral ministerial meeting on Syria between Iran, Russia and Turkey could take place in Astana in March.