Russia: Geneva Talks Could Resume After Meeting in Astana

The ceasefire-monitoring mechanism in Syria that was formed at Astana talks last month has laid the foundation toward resuming UN-backed negotiations in Geneva.

“A mechanism to monitor the ceasefire has been established. That is in fact the most important foundation which provided the opportunity to continue the Geneva talks,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.

He thanked Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev for organizing the Astana talks, saying Kazakhstan “has played a very positive role not only as a host and organizer of this event, but also influenced on the positive results of the meeting in Astana.”

At the same time Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday that Moscow does not rule out a possible international meeting on Syria after Geneva talks.

Moscow does not rule out a possible international meeting on Syria after UN-backed negotiations in Geneva, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Monday.

“There are no such plans so far, but I do not rule it out because it is a very important format of collective work,” Bogdanov said at a conference on the Middle East held by the Valdai Discussion Club.

Russia would first have to discuss future plans with its International Syria Support Group (ISSG) co-chair, the United States, ahead of convening the international meeting, Bogdanov added.

He noted earlier in the day that Moscow supports the resumption of Syria talks headed by UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.

“We believe that their format should be broad and inclusive, as envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” Bogdanov said.

 

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