Astana talks restart for Syrian charter

Astana talks restart for Syrian charter

Astana talks restart for Syrian charter

The 13th round of talks on Syria kicked off in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, on Aug 1, with bilateral and trilateral talks between officials from Iran, Russia and Turkey - the three main Astana guarantors.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, both sides of the conflict in Syria are participating in negotiations on Aug. 1-2.

The United Nations Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia, Bashar al-Jafari, leads the Syrian government delegation, while Ahmet Tuma leads the opposition delegation. UN Special Representative in Syria Geir Pedersen cannot participate in the negotiations due to health problems. The Turkish delegation is led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal, and the Iranian delegation is led by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Askar Haci.

The talks focus on establishing a constitutional committee, whose subcommittee for civil society was subject to months of negotiations. Parties agreed on a 4+2 formula, and the committee is likely to be declared during Astana talks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced.

Astana talks also focus on the Idlib region, home to more than 3 million people. The last remaining rebel stronghold is targeted by the regime and Russian airstrikes.

The Astana peace process, aimed at ending the Syrian conflict, was launched in January 2017, by Russia and Iran -- allies of the regime, and Turkey.