– The U.N. envoy for Syria said on Tuesday, the second day of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana to find a solution to the six-year-old war, that a final declaration was close to being achieved at the indirect talks between Syrian rebels and Damascus. "We are not far from a final declaration" U.N.
– The U.N. envoy for Syria said on Tuesday, the second day of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana to find a solution to the six-year-old war, that a final declaration was close to being achieved at the indirect talks between Syrian rebels and Damascus.
"We are not far from a final declaration" U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said, "There are very intense discussions because this is not about a paper, this is about a cessation of hostilities which means Syrian lives."
Moscow, Ankara and Tehran would commit to jointly fighting the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the militant group formerly known as al-Nusra Front. They would set up a mechanism for trilateral monitoring of the cease-fire, according to an early draft communique.
The first day of the talks yielded no apparent breakthrough but al-Aridi said that the rebel side had noticed a real understanding on the part of the Russians. More than 310,000 people have been killed and more than half of Syria's population displaced since the conflict erupted in 2011.
Mohamed Alloush, who heads the Syrian opposition delegation, said on monday that the cease-fire needs to be strengthened before any political solution could be reached. "We will not move on to the second step unless a cease-fire is ensured" he told reporters after the meeting.
After facing each other to make opening remarks on Monday, at a luxury hotel in Astana, the rival delegations spent the rest of the day negotiating indirectly through intermediaries and at times trading barbs.
The head of the Russian delegation, Alexander Lavrentyev, told reporters talks had been heated because of the mistrust between the parties, but he remained optimistic that Tuesday could yield results. de Mistura said it was crucial to get a mechanism to oversee and implement a nationwide cease-fire. "That by itself ... would be a major achievement," he said, adding he hoped Astana could pave the way for talks that he has proposed for next month in Geneva.
The Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Unit (YPG), which is the military wing of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) said on Jan. 23 that it would not be bound by any decision that came out of the talks in Kazakhstan as it was not involved in the meetings.