Russia, Iran, Turkey meet in Sochi to discuss inter-Syrian dialogue
Representatives of the guarantor nations for the Syrian ceasefire (Russia, Iran and Turkey) meet in Sochi on Monday to discuss issues regarding the formation of the Syrian constitutional committee, the situation in de-escalation zones, as well as humanitarian items on the agenda, including strengthening trust measures and returning Syrian refugees home. On the first day, expert consultations will take place. On July 31, there will be a plenary session.
“The participants will exchange opinions on the process of facilitating inter-Syrian dialogue based on the Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council and the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. They will continue the discussion of further steps in the interest of launching the constitutional committee as soon as possible, as a key element of promoting political regulation of the Syrian crisis,” the Russian Foreign Ministry informed.
The Russian delegation is headed by Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin. The Iranian and Turkish delegations are led by deputy foreign ministers Hossein Ansari and Sedat Onal.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and delegates from Jordan will act as observers. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi was also invited to the meeting. American diplomats chose not to participate in the upcoming congress.
The Syrian government’s side is represented by Syrian Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar Jaafari. It is not certain whether Representatives of armed Syrian opposition groups will attend the meeting.
The previous nine meetings in the Astana format took place in Kazakhstan’s capital.
According to Lavrentyev, the decision to hold the tenth session in Sochi was made in order to add a new dimension to the Astana process, “shifting the focus to political and humanitarian aspects.”
The fourth session of the Working Group on the release of detainees, handover of the bodies and identification of missing persons will take place during the congress.