22 Jun 2023 16:13

Kazakhstan ready to resume Syria talks in Astana format as goodwill gesture - Foreign Ministry

ASTANA. June 22 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan is ready to consider resumption of talks on Syria as a goodwill gesture, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.

"If the participants of international meetings on Syria in the Astana format make a collective request for continuing the negotiations in Astana, Kazakhstan will be ready to consider the possible resumption of this process as a goodwill gesture, with due account taken of the progress of negotiations at other venues and the general situation in Syria," the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Kazakhstan proposed on Wednesday that the latest round of Syria talks be declared the last one in the Astana format.

"Syria's gradual withdrawal from regional isolation could be interpreted as a sign that the Astana process has honorably accomplished its mission. Given Syria's return to the Arab family, we propose that the 20th round of Syria talks be declared the last one in the Astana process," Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Kanat Tumysh said.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry said on Thursday Kazakhstan's announcement of the 20th international high-level meeting on Syria in the Astana format as the final stage of negotiations it would host was based on the following premise: the format supplemented the Geneva process and aimed to fulfill specific, practical tasks promoting the end of the conflict.

"The initial goals, such as de-escalation areas, ceasefire between the conflicting sides and prevention of a massive humanitarian crisis, have been achieved. The political situation in the Middle East is undergoing a drastic change. There is an aspiration to resume relations between Arab states and Damascus. Syria has been reinstated as a member of the League of Arab States. The fraternal Turkish Republic plans to normalize relations with friendly Syria. In this context, Syria's gradual withdrawal from regional isolation could definitely be described as a successful outcome of the efforts taken in the Astana format of the Syria talks," the ministry said.