Russia has announced that the 21st round of talks in the Astana format on Syria will be held in Kazakhstan before the end of this year. This decision follows Kazakhstan’s agreement to host the meetings. The announcement was made by Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who serves as the Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa. Bogdanov conveyed this information on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Forum.
According to the Kurdish news agency North Press, Bogdanov stated, “Our Kazakh partners have expressed their readiness to continue meetings in Astana (…). Therefore, we proceed from the fact that there is already an agreement between the three guarantor countries, namely Russia, Iran, and Turkey, in order to hold the twenty-first meeting by the end of this year also in Astana.”
The announcement of the 21st round of Astana format talks comes shortly after a source from the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed discussions regarding a new meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. This meeting is seen as part of the ongoing efforts to improve relations between Damascus and Ankara.
Regarding the location and date of the Astana track meetings, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin asserted that they will take place, but the specifics are yet to be determined. He emphasized that these meetings have been highly effective in achieving a long-term settlement in Syria. Vershinin also acknowledged the significance of the Astana format, which has yielded positive results and continues to expand its scope.
Furthermore, Vershinin praised the efforts of Kazakhstan in coordinating the talks and highlighted the country’s potential to contribute further to the process.
The 20th round of Astana talks concluded recently, with the participation of representatives from Russia, Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government, the opposition, and UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen. Notably, this round marked the first quadripartite meeting after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured a new presidential term.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.