Astana to Host 5th Round of Syria Talks in Early July: Iran Diplomat

Astana to Host 5th Round of Syria Talks in Early July: Iran Diplomat
Astana to Host 5th Round of Syria Talks in Early July: Iran Diplomat
Iran and Russia have announced that the fifth round of the negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the Syria crisis is set to be held in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on July 4-5.

On Monday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari told Azad news agency (ANA) that during the previous rounds of the Astana talks, mediated by Iran, Russia and Turkey, the trio signed documents to de-escalate tensions in Syria.

A joint working group of the three guarantor states has held three sessions, two in Ankara and one in Oslo, to specify technical and geographical details of four safe zones in Syria, he added.

“An important part of the issues raised among the three countries is resolved and general agreements have been reached on them,” said Jaberi Ansari, adding that the three sides have agreed to follow up on the remaining issues through diplomatic channels.

The Astana talks have brought representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups to the negotiating table over the Syria conflict, which broke out in March 2011.

Four rounds of the discussions took place on January 23-24, February 15-16, March 14-15 and May 3-4. The fifth round was expected to be held in June, but it was postponed.

During the fourth round of the talks, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara signed an agreement to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria.

Iran and Russia are allies of the Syrian government, while Turkey supports the militant groups operating against the Damascus administration.