MFA Government 09/10/2015
Representatives of the Syrian opposition held a second round of consultations in Astana Oct. 2–4, resulting in a joint declaration signed by 29 of the 37 participants envisaging further possible measures for resolving the crisis in Syria and calling for more meetings.
“During the first round of consultation, a number of documents were signed with initiatives to counter the crisis. In the second round, initiatives on the rapid solution of the Syrian crisis were added,” Syrian politician Randa Kassis, who was one of the first to call for talks in Astana, said.
At the second round of talks, “Astana-2,” participants paid particular attention to the electoral process in Syria, emphasising that elections needed to be open to all citizens, regardless of their location in the country or abroad. It was resolved to reform barriers to free elections in the country, either by establishing new legislation or be reforming clauses of the constitution that inhibit it. Participants also agreed to create a new committee of negotiators and to maintain the fight against terrorism. They also urged the release of prisoners captured by terrorists, reported The Astana Times.
“I want to emphasise one point, which was not discussed during Astana-1. We once again ask [for the release of] prisoners captured by terror operatives. We have agreed with initiatives to participate in elections in February 2016,” Kassis announced.
Among the participants in the second round of talks were representatives of different political forces. The participants thanked Kazakhstan’s government, particularly President Nazarbayev, for providing them with a dialogue platform from which to address the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The October talks were mediated by Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mussinov and Director of the French Centre for Political and Foreign Affairs Fabien Baussart, and Secretary of State of Kazakhstan Gulshara Abdykalikova offered opening remarks.
Kazakhstan hopes talks between the Syrian authorities and the opposition in the framework of the Geneva process will continue, Abdykalikova said, addressing the participants. “We want to give a hand to the Syrian people, who are experiencing great difficulties; in particular, food and medicine [shortages]. Kazakhstan supports efforts by the UN, the League of Arab States, the U.S., Russia and other stakeholders in Syria and believes the crisis must be resolved through genuine political dialogue between Syrian authorities and the opposition,” she explained.
In her statement, Abdykalikova emphasised President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev’s support for international efforts based on international law geared toward restoring trust between nations and strengthening peace and security. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly a few days prior to the talks, Nazarbayev proposed a Global Strategic Initiative to create by 2045 a new trend in global development based on fair conditions giving all nations.
In her statement, Abdykalikova emphasised President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev’s support for international efforts based on international law geared toward restoring trust between nations and strengthening peace and security. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly a few days prior to the talks, Nazarbayev proposed a Global Strategic Initiative to create by 2045 a new trend in global development based on fair conditions giving all nations equal access to infrastructure, resources and markets, she noted.
The May 25 – 27 round of talks among Syrian opposition leaders that Kazakhstan hosted provided an opportunity to discuss the political situation in the embattled country, Abdykalikova noted, and resulted in some possible solutions, such as the creation of a provisional government. She stressed that those negotiations were based on key agreements, including the need to follow the Geneva principles in finding a solution, the condemnation of all forms of terrorism and a collective call to end foreign paramilitary involvement.
The secretary of state noted that this round of talks involved representatives of a higher level than previous discussions.
This spring, representatives of the Syrian opposition publicly asked Kazakhstan to host talks on the crisis. Nazarbayev accepted their proposal. Following intense and complicated negotiations in Astana, the participants issued a joint statement on May 28 titled “Astana Declaration for a Political Solution in Syria.”