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Turkey, Russia and Iran agree to extend ceasefire in Idlib

February 18, 2021 at 1:30 pm

A view of Idlib city center in Syria on February 15, 2021. [Muhammed Said – Anadolu Agency]

Turkey, Russia and Iran agreed on Wednesday to extend the ceasefire in Idlib, Syria, sources close to the Astana Peace Process have confirmed. The three countries are the guarantors of the process and are currently meeting for the fifteenth time in Russia to discuss progress in Syria.

The ceasefire was announced last March following a summit between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. According to the sources, the Astana guarantors have also announced their support for the Syria Constitutional Committee which has recently failed to make any progress in Geneva.

The Astana 15 meetings began with bilateral technical meetings. The first took place between the Syrian opposition delegation and the Russians. A tripartite meeting of the guarantor countries is scheduled to take place later.

Following their meeting with the Russian delegation, a spokesman for the Syrian opposition, Ayman Al-Asimi, said that the UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, was very firm in pointing out that the international community might look for a new approach in the event that the Constitutional Committee fails to make progress.

“The Constitutional Committee’s failure provides a clear indication that Russia wants to impose a solution alone in Syria,” said Al-Asimi. He stressed that Moscow should not be satisfied with simply giving advice to the Syrian regime, but should force Damascus to join the Constitutional Committee’s work, not least because it was a Russian proposal.

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