Activities of Astana meeting on crisis in Syria kicked off in Astana on Monday morning with the participation of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation and other delegations.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in his message, which was read to participants by Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, at the opening of the meeting, Kazakhstan as a state that loves peace and being a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council pays attention for bringing security and stability and boosting them in the Middle East, adding that today’s meeting clearly reflects the great efforts exerted by the international community for settling the situation on Syria in peaceful means.
Abdrakhmanov quoted the President as saying that his country sees that dialogue is the only solution to the crisis in Syria, stressing that Kazakhstan is working as an objective and neutral mediator, hoping to shed light on the crisis in Syria for achieving tangible results.
“With the aim of alleviating the sufferings of the Syrian people, we allocated USD 700 thousands to the Syrian refugees, as we have recently sent 500 tons of humanitarian aid,” he added.
At the conclusion of the letter he said that I am confident that the Astana Meeting will create the suitable circumstances to all the relevant parties to find a convenient solution to the crisis in accordance with Geneva process and within the framework of the United Nations as to properly contribute to bringing peace and stability to Syria.
Then, a closed door meeting between the participating delegations began, according to SANA delegate.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura in his speech during the opening of Astana meeting called upon all parties to exert all possible efforts for bringing peace to Syria in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
He added that the United Nations sees that such meetings create the opportunity for finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria, pointing out that there is hope for alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people through working on fixing the cessation of hostilities agreement, which is considered important even if some breaches occur.
Head of the Russian delegation to Astana meeting Alexander Lavrentiev stressed that his country pays great attention to today’s meeting, considering that it constitutes a real opportunity for pushing forwards the political process in Syria.
Lavrentiev said in a speech during the opening session of the meeting that protecting the unity of the Syrian territories and not transforming into an ideological state must be on top priorities. Russia is fighting terrorism and we were able to achieve very important steps.
“Astana meeting constitutes a key opportunity for discussing the issue of putting an end to the crisis in Syria, which has become a threat to the security and peace all over the Middle East, in addition to confronting the challenges with regards to the issues of terrorism and extremism.
He stressed that preserving the territorial integrity of Syria and protecting it from becoming an ideological country are top priorities.
In turn, Head of the Iranian delegation Hossein Jaberi Ansari said : We have met here today for reaching peace in Syria and for giving a chance for dialogue between the Syrian government and the armed groups, adding that a roadmap should be put as all groups who have not jointed the meeting should do.
Jaberi Ansari noted that the international community should guarantee the ending of the flow of arms into Syria.
” We have to maintain the unity and independence of Syria and only the Syrian people have the right to decide their own future.” he concluded.
The US delegation to the meeting said: America is committed to reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria that brings together the largest number of the Syrians.
Earlier, The Syrian delegation met with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura.
SANA delegate to Astana said that the meeting dealt with the necessity of good preparation and final arrangement prior to Astana meeting.
The delegate reported later in the evening that the Syrian Arab Republic delegation began another meeting with de Mistura.
Moreover, the delegations of Syria and Iran met in Astana in the framework of coordination between the two countries.
The two sides exchanged viewpoints, which were identical.