20 Jun 2023 12:01

UN envoy for Syria arrives in Astana for new round of talks

ASTANA. June 20 (Interfax) - United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen has arrived in Astana to take part in a new round of the Astana process on Syria starting on Tuesday, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry told Interfax.

The 20th round of negotiations on Syria attended by delegations from Russia, Iran, and Turkey started in Astana on Tuesday.

The Russian delegation is led by Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

The agenda includes changes in the regional situation surrounding Syria, the situation on the ground, efforts toward a comprehensive settlement in Syria, counterterrorism, confidence building measures, including the liberation of hostages and a search for those missing, the humanitarian situation in Syria, the mobilization of the international community's efforts to promote a post-conflict reconstruction, and steps to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees.

On the first day, June 20, deputy foreign ministers of Iran, Russia, Syria, and Turkey are to meet for four-sided consultations to discuss work on a draft road map toward normalizing Syrian-Turkish relations, as well as bilateral and trilateral consultations between the Astana process countries.

The consultations should continue on the second day of the talks, to be followed by a plenary session and a press conference.

The negotiations would also include a regular meeting of a working group on freeing detainees and hostages, returning the bodies of the dead, and searching for the missing, which includes representatives of the guarantor countries, the UN, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.