16 March 2018
Meeting with Foreign Ministers of Guaranteeing Powers in the Astana Process on Syria

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended the meeting.

During the conversation, the sides discussed the results and prospects for negotiations on solving the conflict in Syria in the format of the Astana site.

The Kazakh leader noted the existence of a number of agreements reached in the course of the Astana process on ceasefire.

- The Syrian crisis remains relevant both for us and for the entire region. Because of the fighting, 400 thousand people died, including children, women and elderly people. The conflict created a general unfavourable situation throughout the region. Nevertheless, the Astana process gave hope for an early end to the war and bloodshed in Syria. The Astana talks intensified the Geneva process, the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that Kazakhstan supported the UN Security Council Resolution on establishing an armistice in the region.

In turn, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed gratitude to the President of Kazakhstan for the provided site in Astana and pointed to the importance of seeking a solution to the conflict in Syria.

- In East Guta for the past two days already about 20 thousand civilians were able to leave the territory. Now we are solving together with the UN the issue of providing them with essentials in places of temporary residence before they can return to their homes, the Russian Foreign Minister said.

Sergey Lavrov noted that the Astana talks helped to find ways to resolve the Syrian conflict.

- Astana launched the process, which is recognized by all. The main thing is that the Astana platform stimulated efforts as part of the Syrian settlement in all directions. This is the fight against terrorists, and creation of de-escalation zones, where the regime for the cessation of hostilities has significantly reduced the level of violence. In addition, this is a more effective solution of humanitarian issues, the Russian Foreign Minister said.

Sergey Lavrov, noting the high organization of the talks, stressed the importance of the Astana platform in the context of creating a comfortable political atmosphere.

- The unchanging line of Astana aimed at convergence of opposing positions, and the very spirit of Kazakhstan's foreign policy aimed at finding agreements, helps us to work effectively, the Russian Foreign Minister said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has also focused on the effective Astana process and expressed his commitment to this negotiating format.

- It' has been a little more than a year since the beginning of the talks in Astana, and we were able to achieve great achievements and progress in this process. Yesterday, the working group on confidence-building measures arranged a meeting here in Astana, which dealt with the exchange of hostages and prisoners. We would like to maintain such dynamics, which is natural for the Astana site. We were able to get a new impetus to advance this process, the Turkish Foreign Minister said.

Mevlut Cavusoglu also stressed the need to search for a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif pointed out that, despite the existing problem in East Guta, the Parties generally managed to reduce the level of hostility and violence in Syria.

- We were able to mitigate the situation by solving some humanitarian issues, despite the problems in East Guta. Peaceful citizens in Syria were able to get protection. Yesterday we started work to establish trust between the Parties, the Iranian Foreign Minister said.

Mohammad Zarif also noted the special importance of the Astana site in forming political ways and approaches to settle the crisis in Syria.

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