Lavrentiev: US absence from Astana 9 will not affect talks

Head of the Russian delegation to Astana talks on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said that the absence of the United States from the ninth round which kicked off on Monday will not affect the talks aimed at achieving greater stability in Syria.
According to Lavrentiev, the Astana process is proceeding as planned and the heads of the delegations of the Guarantor States (Russia, Iran and Turkey) are carrying out the instructions of their governments.
“No one doubts the usefulness of Astana platform to achieve greater stability in Syria except the US and its allies, and therefore its absence will not affect the talks,’’ he added.
Earlier, Lavrentiev said that the de-escalation zones in Syria are still effective as part of a planned transformation in terms of the peaceful political process in the country.
He expected that the three guarantor states of ceasefire in Syria will issue a joint statement at the end of the 9th round of Astana talks which includes assessment of the results of efforts exerted by all parties concerned and setting up future plans.

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