Astana talks: Parties vows to Syria’s sovereignty, slam Israeli aggression

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The 20th international meeting on Syria in the Astana format, which was held in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan on June 21, has ended with a joint statement by the guarantor countries of Iran, Russia and Turkey, reaffirming their strong commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

The statement also expressed the parties’ firm opposition to Israel’s acts of aggression and airstrikes against Syria, which they condemned as a violation of international law and a threat to regional peace and security. The parties called on Israel to stop its attacks and respect Syria’s sovereignty and neighboring countries

The Astana talks, which began in 2017 as an initiative of Iran, Russia and Turkey, aim to facilitate a political solution to the Syrian crisis and coordinate efforts to combat terrorism and provide humanitarian aid to the war-torn country. The talks have also established de-escalation zones in Syria and promoted the work of the Constitutional Committee, which is tasked with drafting a new constitution for Syria.

The statement also welcomed the fifth round of the Constitutional Committee’s meetings, which took place in Geneva in January 2023, and urged the Syrian parties to continue their constructive engagement in good faith and without foreign interference. The parties also reiterated their support for the UN-led political process in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254.

The statement also highlighted the need to enhance humanitarian assistance to all Syrians throughout the country without discrimination, politicization or preconditions. The parties called for the lifting of unilateral sanctions imposed on Syria, which they said hamper the delivery of humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of the country. The parties also stressed the importance of facilitating the safe and voluntary return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to their original places of residence.

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