UN, June 29. /TASS/. The next meeting in Astana format with the participation of three countries – guarantors of a ceasefire in Syria (Iran, Russia and Turkey) will take place in Sochi on 30-31 July. This was stated on Friday by Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Vershinin.
“It will be held in the last two days of July, it is already agreed in principle, in the format that we’ve done before – three of the country – guarantor of the party observers and the Syrian side,” he said.
“Working in Astana the format is, I believe, a tremendous achievement and we would like to continue,” – said Deputy foreign Minister of the Russian Federation.
In addition, as noticed Vershinin, an important outcome of the Astana process is the establishment and functioning of the working group on exchange of detainees and dead bodies. “It’s hard work, but so far probably the only one that helps to establish trust between the conflicting parties, – he stated. – Recently this group held a meeting in Ankara and she will continue to work, including, I hope, on the sidelines of the meeting in Astana format in Sochi on 30-31 July.”
Work with representatives of the “small group”
Moscow maintains contacts with representatives of a “small group” on Syria and has no objection to pairing its efforts with a model of the process, said Sergey Vershinin.
“We know about the “small group”, we have bilateral contacts with its representatives. We believe that the contribution of anyone interested in a fair settlement in Syria, would be useful, so we are willing to joint efforts of the Astana process and a “small group,” said Vershinin.
He stressed that the main process of the Syrian settlement “should be based on the efforts of Syrians themselves”. “We would not want to impose any recipes from outside, said Vershinin. – We believe that this adherence to the letter and spirit of resolution 2254 of the UN security Council”.
In the “small group”, along with representatives of France, also USA, UK, Jordan, Saudi Arabia.
The talks in Geneva
Following consultations in Geneva with the participation of three countries-guarantors on Syria will be held in mid-July, said Sergei Vershinin, answering the question TASS.
“We have scheduled a new consultation with the Lord [with, the UN special envoy on Syria Staffan] de Mistura, hopefully it will be in mid-July,” said Vershinin, noting that the specific date is not yet scheduled.
This will be already the second month of consultations of the countries – guarantors of a ceasefire in Syria de Mistura. 19 June the meeting lasted more than two hours, Russia was represented by special presidential envoy on the Syrian settlement, Alexander Lavrentiev. The emissary of the UN assessed the meeting as very useful and productive. Conversation with de Mistura was preceded by a separate meeting between Russia, Iran and Turkey, and the day before held talks with Syrian opposition groups.
The establishment of the constitutional Committee
The guarantor countries of the process of the Astana jointly with the United Nations managed to make significant progress towards creating a constitutional Committee of Syria, also said Vershinin.
“I can say that, according to our estimates, we have significantly advanced in this way (the creation of the constitutional Committee). In particular, I would like to draw attention to the fact that with our support, the SAR government gave the UN a list of 50 candidates,” he said.
Vershinin has noticed that now you must wait until the relevant lists from the opposition and civil society. “We did what depended on us. As for the opposition, we would like to see this list was provided as soon as possible and to make it as wide as possible”, – he explained.
“A week ago we, the representatives of three countries – guarantors of the Astana process, held a meeting with special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura he said. – This was the second meeting in this format. We are very hands-on and talked in detail about how we can start the political settlement process, in particular, as we implement the recommendations of the Congress of the Syrian acdialog in Sochi on the creation of a constitutional Committee, which I have started to work in Geneva.”
30 January, Sochi hosted the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue. The participants agreed to form a constitutional Commission, composed of 150 people, with an equal quota from the Syrian government, the opposition and civil society to consider issues of constitutional reform.