Sochi summit starts today….Idlib and refugees are at the top of the talks
The tenth round of Astana talks, with the participation of the Guarantor States of Russia, Turkey and Iran, representatives of the Syrian government and opposition factions, will begin today in the Russian city of Sochi, amid expectations that Idlib and the return of the refugees will lead the summit.
The Russian delegation includes Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Verchinen, Special Adviser to the Special Envoy to Syria Vitaly Naumkin, Special Envoy of the Russian President on the Syrian Settlement, Alexander Lavrintev, and a number of experts. There will be traditional discussions within Astana formula. A member of the delegation said “We will discuss all issues in the light of recent developments on the ground. The return of refugees is among the agenda points because a UNHCR representative will also take part in the meeting this time”. The three guarantors of Astana process (Russia, Iran, Turkey) are likely to be represented at the level of deputy foreign ministers. De Mistura, who will represent the United Nations, will be accompanied by a team of international experts charged with providing the required technical support to the three States, particularly in the affairs of detainees, abductees and missing persons.
Nine rounds of talks have been held in Astana, resulting in agreement on four areas to reduce the escalation, after the agreement of the Guarantor States “Russia, Iran and Turkey.”