Turkey, World, Middle East

Nazarbayev discusses Syria talks with Turkey, Russia

Kazakhstan president 'ready' to provide platform for meeting between Syrian conflicting parties in Astana

18.12.2016
Nazarbayev discusses Syria talks with Turkey, Russia Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev

By Aliia Raimbekova

ASTANA

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed in a phone call with his Turkish and Russian counterparts the possibility of hosting Syria talks in Astana.

During the conversation, Nazarbayev discussed with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin the regional and international developments, according to a statement issued from president’s press office late Saturday.

The statement said Erdogan and Putin expressed their "willingness" to hold a meeting between the Syrian regime and opposition in Astana.

It added Nazarbayev expressed his "readiness" to provide a platform for talks in Astana.

On Friday, Putin said that he and Erdogan have reached an agreement to work on launching a new series of peace talks between the Syrian regime and the opposition.

Putin told on Friday a press conference in Tokyo that the next step for “normalization” in the war-torn country was to reach an agreement on a nationwide ceasefire.

Putin added that if the regime and opposition agree to the proposal, "we will ask Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to back this process."

Speaking to TRT Haber channel on Friday, Erdogan's aide Ibrahim Kalin said, "this is not an alternative to the Geneva talks, but perhaps a process can be initiated in coordination with Geneva talks."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu acknowledged in Ankara that such a meeting was discussed in a phone conversation between Erdogan and Putin, but said it would not be a summit between the leaders as reported in some media.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN. The Syrian Center for Policy Research, however, put the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.

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