TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - “The prospects for a settlement in Syria will be considered within a week to 10 days, i.e. on February 14, in the upcoming summit of the presidents of Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Sochi,” the top Russian diplomat said during a speech he delivered to the students of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city, Bishkek, on Monday.
The tripartite summit, whose main purpose is to provide further coordination among the three countries, will be held before the 12th Astana talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
Late last month, Lavrov said that the Astana peace talks would be attended by Russia, Iran, and Turkey, as well as observers from Jordan and the United Nations (UN).
Since January 2017, Moscow, Tehran, and Ankara have been mediating peace negotiations between representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups in a series of rounds held in Astana and other places. The talks are collectively referred to as the Astana peace process.
The first round of the Astana talks commenced a month after the three guarantors joined efforts and brought about an all-Syria ceasefire. The three states act as the guarantors of that truce.
The negotiations have helped significantly reduce the violence gripping the Arab country by establishing four de-escalation zones there. They have also paved the way for the formation of a Constitutional Committee.
This is while a parallel UN-backed peace process in Geneva, Switzerland, has failed to deliver much.
Elsewhere in his comments on Monday, Lavrov said that work was also underway to complete the formation of the UN-sponsored Constitutional Committee to discuss the Syrian constitution as an important stage in resolving the Syrian crisis.
“In parallel with the war against terrorism, there is a current political track in which Russia, Iran, and Turkey adopted an initiative based on the decisions of the Syrian national dialog congress held a year ago in Sochi to set up a committee to discuss the constitution,” he said.
Last year, a Constitutional Committee was agreed to be established for Syria during talks in Sochi as part of the Astana peace process.
The body will include 50 members from the incumbent Damascus government and 50 opposition members. Another 50 members will be independent and chosen by the UN.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. But that conflict has been winding down as the Syrian government reasserts control over parts formerly held by militant and terrorist groups.
source: Press TV