The United Nations Special Envoy to Syria participates in the Astana talks

Russia’s official Tass news agency reported, quoting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, that the UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Otto Pedersen, will take part in the talks. Talks regarding the future of Syria in Astana.

Bogdanov added that Pedersen confirmed during his recent visit to Moscow that he, too, will attend the event.

Bogdanov also said that Moscow hopes to make progress in working on a roadmap for normalizing relations between Ankara and Damascus.

Yugdanov made this statement to reporters today, Tuesday, before the start of the 20th round of negotiations in the “Astana” format, indicating that Russia is counting on constructive work in it.

He said, “For the first time, a second event is organized here in parallel. It is a meeting of four countries, Turkey, Syria, Russia and Iran, at the level of deputy foreign ministers. During which we work on issues of normalizing relations between Damascus and Ankara.”

Bogdanov added that this is an important process that must be based on agreed principles of mutual respect for territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty.

He continued, “As you know, on May 10, a meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran was held in Moscow, where we were instructed to prepare a roadmap for the process of normalizing relations between Syria and Turkey. We hope that we will make progress in this work as well.”

The talks began with the “Astana formula” on the settlement in Syria in the Kazakh capital today, Tuesday, with a meeting of the delegations of Russia and the Syrian government. The Russian side is represented in the talks by two special envoys of the Russian presidency, Alexander Lavrentiev and Mikhail Bogdanov.

And as Bogdanov confirmed to reporters, the current round of Astana talks is attended by delegations of the Syrian government, the opposition, Russia, Turkey and Iran, as well as delegations from Syria’s neighboring countries, namely Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.

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