The meeting on Syria in Astana on March 14-15 should be of great help to new intra-Syrian consultations in Geneva, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said.
“On the whole, we are satisfied with the way the Astana process is going on, with a trio of the ceasefire guarantors – Russia, Turkey, and Iran – acting as a driving force,” the diplomat said. “The agreements reached in this format have made it possible to significantly reduce the level of violence in Syria and contribute to the improvement of the humanitarian situation.”
“The parties have been able to expand the area and consolidate the ceasefire, involve an additional number of armed groups located in southern Syria in the political process,” she noted.
“We proceed from the assumption that the new meeting in Astana will be of great help to the fifth round of the UN-backed intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva,” Zakharova emphasized.
“We hope that, in the course of preparations for new contacts in Geneva, another step will be taken towards forming a well-represented Syrian opposition delegation, which would take into account the vision of all ethno-confessional segments of the Syrian society and whose ability to reach agreements would not give rise to doubts.”