The parties participating in “Astana 8” talks about Syria on Friday, 22 December 2017, reached the formation of two working groups on the file of the Syrian detainees, while the both delegation of the regime and the Syrian opposition will meet in “Sochi”, Russian city, next month.
This came in the final statement that read by Kazakh Foreign Minister “Khairat Abdulrahmanov”, at the main closing session of (Astana 8 Conference), which gather representatives of the regime and opposition delegations, with “Turkey, Russia and Iran” as guarantors.
The two groups will work on detainees and missing persons, exchange of prisoners and bodies in addition to demining. The UN envoy to Syria “Staffan de Mistura”, described the development as “a commendable first step towards making arrangements among warring parties”.
Conference in Russia
With the end of the Astana 8 talks, a date for a new conference will be held, which will gather representatives of a part of the Syrian opposition and Al- Assad regime in “Sochi”, Russian city, on behalf of the “National Dialogue Conference”. Moscow had planned to hold the conference last month, but announced its postponement; It will be hold on 29 / 30 January.
The UN envoy “de Mistura” asked Russia to present its plan for the conference in terms of the conference’s ability to support the UN-sponsored Geneva talks to end the war in Syria.
The “Interfax-Kazakhstan” agency quoted a source close to the Syrian negotiations that Turkey and Iran are not with the participation of Kurds from the Democratic Union Party in the next Syrian National Dialogue.
“The Iranians and the Turks have agreed, but they insist that no one is involved by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party. Everyone knows the necessity of the participation of the Kurds. Russia asked these two countries to propose some Kurds, but it is known that there are practically no Kurds who support Turkey. So, “We will look for non-aligned Kurds”.
Russia’s special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said the Kurds would be represented in Sochi conference by neutral, non-political and respected figures.
He said: “You know that Turkey categorically opposes the presence of the Democratic Union Party in the National Dialogue Conference, which it regards as a branch of the PKK, which it considers a terrorist organization and has fought in its territory and in neighboring countries for a long time.
“For them (the Turks), this is a red line, and we are making efforts at the present stage to make the Kurds representatives of respected figures, everyone knows them, they have a social weight, and neutral positions with regard to belonging to any political gathering, and there are many of these people. We are working to reach an agreement on figures”.
He added that the interests of the Democratic Union Party will be taken into consideration through the participation of the Kurds in the conference. So this issue is not as urgent as some imagine”.
Turkish media revealed that the Turkish Foreign Ministry have earlier submitted a list of Russia, including the proposal of names of personalities and parties, to participate in the conference, excluded from the Democratic Union Party, the list included the names of 15 people of the parties of the Kurdish National Council, including the former president of the Syrian National Council “Abdul Basset Sida” and other Kurdish figures, as well it revealed that Ankara does not agree to include representatives of the Democratic Union Party in the conference, and that it is able to use the “veto” within the process of Astana.
Advisory Office – Agencies