Kurdistan Regional Government president Masoud Barzani announced on June 7 that the region had set September 25 as the date for a referendum on independence. He was joined by members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Movement and other small parties, including those representing Assyrian and Turkmen minorities. New signs on billboards throughout the KRG capital of Erbil tout “yes to independence.”
Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu underlined the presence of constructive coordination with Israel to reduce tensions in south Syria, stressing that the priority was to draft a new Syrian constitution during the upcoming Astana meetings.
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry said that the Syrian opposition has confirmed its participation in talks on Syria settlement, set to take place this week in Astana.
While speaking at a press-conference during the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on April 3, 2017, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, stated that it is only the people of Syria have a right to determine the future of their country.
The Iranian ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations says the Islamic Republic together with Russia and Turkey will spare no efforts to safeguard a ceasefire in Syria agreed last December.
Syrian peace talks in Kazakhstan closed on Wednesday without any substantive negotiations taking place, after rebels boycotted the meeting that took place as a deadly double suicide bombing marked the start of the civil war’s seventh year.
The fourth round of talks on the Syrian conflict in Geneva ended with the modest hope that the two sides to the conflict realize that dialogue is the only viable option left to settle the six-year old conflict, which left nearly half-a-million people dead, hundreds of thousands injured and no less than 11 million Syrians either displaced or refugees.
Only a new government in Syria will be eligible to decide on the new constitution of the country, leader of the Cairo opposition platform Jihad Makdissi said on Sunday.
Since the peace talks in Astana ended, meaningful progress has been made towards the settlement of the Syrian crisis. The guarantor countries managed to do impossible – to make Syrian government and the armed opposition sit down at one table to discuss the current situation in the country.