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U.S. not plans to be participant in Astana process

10 May 2017 [17:51] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Kamila Aliyeva 

The U.S. will not become a participant in the talks on Syria, which are held in Astana, and intend to remain as observer, U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol said, RIA Novosti reported.

He noted that the U.S. welcomes attempts to resolve the situation in Syria and end the bloodshed.

"We are for the unity, sovereignty and independence of Syria as a state. Only Syrians themselves can solve political and internal problems without the interference of other countries," the diplomat said, noting that the main issue is creating conditions for the ceasefire.

"We are not the participants and even now we do not intend to take part in these negotiations as participants, only as observers," Krol added.

The latest round of Astana talks was attended by a top State Department official as a representative.

This was the first time when Washington’s representative was Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Stuart Jones, who previously served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Jordan.

Jones' participation as the U.S. observer was seen by many as a sign of U.S. high support for a political resolution to the Syrian crisis.

The latest round of Astana talks ended by signing the agreement on de-escalation zones which came into force on May 6.

The civil war in Syria between government and opposition with various terrorist groups involved, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), began back in March 2011.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.


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