Nur-Sultan, SANA- Head of the Russian delegation to the 17th Meeting on Syria in the Astana Format, Alexander Lavrentiev, expressed his country’s concern over the increase in attacks by terrorist organizations in Syria.
“The increase in attacks by terrorist organizations, not only in northern Syria, but throughout its territory, raises our concern,” Lavrentiev said in statements to journalists in the Kazakh Capital of Nur-Sultan.
He noted that the Turkish regime is not fully implementing its obligations under the agreements reached between the Russian and Turkish presidents in March 2020.
Lavrentiev reiterated his country’s endeavor to take steps to rectify this situation represented by the Turkish regime’s implementation of its obligations, pointing out that all the bases are available for this.
Lavrentiev added, “We hope that next January, the seventh session of the Committee of Discussing the Constitution will be held in Syria and that the Syrian parties will be able, during this session, to reach a solution.”
He said, “The UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen was in Damascus on December 12th , and he met Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Dr. Fayssal Mikdad, and constructive talks took place between them … Pedersen’s impression was very positive, and we believe that it allow us to count on the upcoming seventh session of the Committee of Discussing the Constitution.”
On the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria, Lavrentiev said, “Unfortunately, the position regarding the continuation of sanctions against Damascus still exists, but we hope for some kind of adjustment early next year.”
He noted that during the current round of talks in Nur-Sultan, it is also scheduled to discuss the issue of humanitarian supplies and launching projects to revive the country’s economy because “without that, solving this problem will take more time… Here we must all participate and work together and the entire international community as a whole…. Unfortunately, the methods now differ somewhat between the members of the Astana Format and the members of the mini group.”
He considered that the Astana Format with regard to resolving the crisis in Syria is still valid, saying, “Nearly five years have passed since the launch of the Astana Format… and we believe that it retains its uniqueness in terms of its impact on the development of the situation on the ground and the course of the political process.”
“Therefore, we are first and foremost here in Nur-Sultan with representatives of the delegations of Turkey, Iran and neighboring countries Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, and we will discuss all those issues that will allow us to move forward on the path towards this solution,” Lavrentiev added.
Lavrentiev indicated that Russia intends to draw attention to the problem of the return of Syrian refugees at the current International Meeting in the Astana Format.
“We believe that a certain impetus should be given to the issue of the return of Syrian refugees… We will draw the attention of the international community to this important problem… Moreover, we see some progress on the part of Western countries in this direction,” he said.
Lavrentiev added “Adequate and appropriate conditions must be created for the return of Syrian refugees and the Syrian government is doing its best to achieve this, but this requires some funding… Although the process is ongoing, it is not as fast as we all hope.”
Lavrentiev announced that Russia had seen the report of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the mechanism of crossing the border in Syria, and the document indicates that the international community is joining the process of providing assistance to the Syrians.
“We have carefully read the current December report of the UN Secretary-General Mr. Guterres, and apparently everything is fine, the international community is actively involved in providing support to the Syrian people, and international donors are showing their willingness to implement projects in Syria,” Lavrentiev added.
He pointed out that “at the same time, not much has been done during the past six months, as we would like.”
Answering journalists’ questions, Lavrentiev affirmed that Russia positively evaluates the activities of Chinese investors in Syria, considering it a good example for other countries to help Syria and rebuild its economy.