Third parties are trying to weaken Astana process: Turkish FM
Some other counterparties, which are not part of the Astana process, “are trying to weaken the collaboration of three guarantors,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.
“We see that countries, which are not part of Astana, are trying to weaken the Astana process,” Çavuşoğlu said speaking at a joint press conference with Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov on April 19.
“We see some jealousy,” he said, noting they would continue with the Astana process in the upcoming period.
The Astana process has played a substantial role in establishing a cease-fire, forming de-escalation zones and taking steps to build confidence in the war in Syria, the minister said.
“Until today, the most concrete steps in Syria have been in Astana and later in Sochi,” Çavuşoğlu said, noting that the process supports the Geneva talks. The next Astana meeting will take place from May 14-15, he noted.
Kazakhstan hosted eight meetings attended by representatives from Russia, Turkey, and Iran, the guarantor states that brokered a cease-fire in Syria in December 2016, leading to the Astana peace talks running parallel to the Geneva talks.
In his earlier remarks, Çavuşoğlu claimed French President Emmanuel Macron wanted to be part of the trilateral summit between Turkey, Russia, and Iran held in Ankara in early April over Syria.
When Ankara asked the other participant countries, Russia welcomed the proposal, while Iran preferred to host France in a separate meeting, so Macron did not attend the trilateral summit, Çavuşoğlu said.