Foreign powers and Syria meet in Kazakhstan to discuss Syrian war

Ninth Round Of Syria Peace Talks Under Way In Astana

The joint statement today, posted on Russia's Foreign Ministry website, says that Russia, Iran and Turkey, acting as guarantors of the settlement process, reaffirmed "their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria".

The trio has been mediating the negotiations in the Kazakh capital since January 2017, a month after they joined efforts and brought about an all-Syria ceasefire.

It is essential to implement agreements on deescalation zones in Syria because they are a main factor in maintaining the ceasefire and reducing violence in the country, said the statement.

It, meanwhile, reminded that the zones were "temporary", and that their establishment was not to be misused towards undermining Syria's territorial integrity.

The three countries also agreed to hold later two meetings of the working group; one in Ankara next June on the release of the kidnapped and the detainees as well as searching for the missing persons and the other is scheduled to be a high-level global meeting on Syria in July in the Russian city of Sochi. According to Kazakhstan's Kazinform news service, Toma told the plenary session that Astana is the only place where the Syrian opposition wants to hold negotiations and will not go to another venue.

The committee is tasked with working to draft a revised constitution for Syria. Previous rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations over the past five years have failed to achieve tangible results.

Representatives of Russia, Turkey and Iran are taking part in two day talks.

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