Syria talks in Astana conclude, eyes on Geneva meeting

Orient Net 2017-02-17 13:25:00

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The second round of Astana talks on Syria were concluded on yesterday on Thursday without issuing a final communique, as was expected. Delegations only made remarks through press briefings.

A joint Russian, Turkish, Iranian committee will be formed to monitor the ceasefire, Russian foreign ministry confirmed.

Russian news agency Interfax said that the ceasefire would allow deploying more Russian air force troops and more Assad terrorists in eastern Syria.

Head of the opposition’s delegation, Muhammad Alloush, said that the opposition did not enter the meeting room before obtaining guarantees from Russia to halt bombardment on the opposition-controlled areas in Syria.

Opposition refused to discuss other issues such as the constitution, holding elections or any other political issues, Alloush pointed out adding that “negotiations about ceasefire mechanisms will be taken to Ankara,” without specifying any date or giving further details.

The head of the Assad regime delegation, Bashar al-Jaafari, blamed the failure to adopt a final joint statement on the opposition factions.

Meanwhile, despite the opposition delegation’s disappointment with the outcome of talks, sources in the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that “Despite the failure of , the opposition has no other choice than to participate in the Geneva meeting next week.”

The talks in Astana were a second attempt after the first round, which took place on Jan. 23-24, also failed to bring about a mechanism to consolidate the ceasefire in Syria, ahead of a new round of United Nations talks on Syria in Geneva on February 23.