Astana talks a success: Turkish PM Yıldırım

Astana talks a success: Turkish PM Yıldırım

Astana talks a success: Turkish PM Yıldırım

AP photo

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has described the Astana meetings on Syria as a “diplomatic success,” expressing his hope that the process will continue in Geneva through talks for a political solution.

Recalling that the fragile ongoing ceasefire in Syria was achieved by an initiative of Turkey, Russia and Iran, the three countries have reached a consensus on monitoring the truce, Yıldırım said on Jan. 25, addressing ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials. 

“There has been diplomatic success there. The U.N. has gotten involved and a serious diplomatic effort has now been kicked off,” he added.

Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed in Astana to establish a joint “mechanism” to shore up a shaky three-week truce in Syria, but offered few concrete details on how it would work.  

Representatives from Damascus and the armed rebels in the Kazakh capital were expected to hold their first face-to-face talks since the conflict erupted in 2011, but the rebels refused amid a bitter war of words and mediators had to shuttle between the two sides.

The talks yielded a joint communique from Russia, Turkey and Iran which pledged to create a monitoring mechanism to police Syria’s patchy ceasefire, but the rebels did not endorse it.

Instead, they submitted a separate proposal on the ceasefire and questioned Iran’s legitimacy as a broker at a time when they said Iranian militias were breaching the ceasefire.

Moscow said it had given the rebels the draft of a new constitution, drawn up by Russian specialists, to speed agreement on a political transition.