Europe

Germany eyes closer cooperation with Astana format

FM Maas says Germany seeking closer cooperation between Astana, Small Group on Syria

15.02.2019
Germany eyes closer cooperation with Astana format

By Ayhan Simsek

MUNICH

Germany is looking for closer cooperation between the Astana process and the Small Group on Syria, Berlin’s top diplomatic Heiko Maas said Friday.

Mass spoke at the Munich Security Conference where he underlined the importance of multilateral diplomacy in addressing today’s challenges and conflicts, including the civil war in Syria.

“I spoke this week with the new UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen, and discussed how we can bring different strands of the Astana process and the Small Group closer together,” he said.

The Small Group on Syria is consisted of the U.S., France, U.K., Germany, Jordan, Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Mass said efforts of all these actors were focused on convening the constitutional committee and the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254.

The Astana process, spearheaded by Turkey, Russia and Iran, has been successful in bringing a cease-fire in Syria and led to the creation of de-escalation zones.

The guarantors of the Astana have repeatedly stressed the process was not an alternative to UN-led peace talks in Geneva for a political solution in Syria.

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