Deutsche Welle: Syria Astana Talks End with Call For New Peace Round in Sochi
Russia, Iran and Turkey have announced that a fourth track of peace talks will open in Sochi in January 2018. Both the UN and the Syrian opposition have acknowledged the new peace push without embracing it, Deutsche Wellewrites.
After two days of talks in Astana, Russia, Iran and Turkey announced on Friday that they would meet for a "national dialogue congress" next month in the Russian seaside resort of Sochi, to try to find a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
The three countries released a joint statement at the end of the International Meeting on Syria that took place from December 21-22 in the Kazakh capital.
In it, they said that the Sochi congress, scheduled for January 29-30, would include "the participation of all segments of the Syrian society." The trio also called on representatives from the Syrian government and the anti-government opposition to "actively cooperate."
The statement added that Russia, Iran and Turkey would hold a meeting on January 19-20 to prepare for the Sochi congress.
Russia and Iran both back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whereas Turkey advocates for Assad's removal and supports the non-Kurdish Syrian opposition groups.
The three countries are guarantors of a fragile year-old ceasefire in Syria. Their most recent meeting was the 8th round of a series of talks in Astana aimed at finding a lasting solution to end the violence.
The Sochi congress would be the fourth forum for Syrian peace talks: in addition to the Astana talks, the UN has been leading talks in Geneva, and Russia on occasion has opened dialogue with Egypt.
UN responds hesitantly
In response to the announcement, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who had...