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Next round of Astana talks on Syria scheduled to take place

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Next round of Astana talks on Syria scheduled to take place

Turkey
Photo: Anadolu

The most recent round of the Astana talks was held today in Nur-Sultan. 

Since 2017, the representatives of the Syrian government as well as armed militias have convened in the Kazakh capital to engage in talks aimed at implementing a lasting ceasefire agreement. Russia, Iran and Turkey serve as guarantors of the agreement, the first two being strong supporters of the Assad regime. Turkish support for opposition forces provides the legitimacy for the group as a resolution mechanism independent from the United Nations. 

During this iteration of the talks, Russia will likely push for the removal of international sanctions in order to boost Syria’s post-pandemic recovery. Turkey is likely to call for the transfer of detainees and increased confidence-building measures between both sides of the conflict through a return to the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva. In the long-term, expect Russia and Iran to push talks in the direction of a reconciliation plan that would see the Kremlin-allied Bashar al-Assad remain in power. Although opposition interests will be defended by the Turkish delegation, their seat of power in the Astana talks pulls Ankara away from Western dialogues on Syria and increases its vulnerability to pressure from Moscow.

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