In advance of the Syrian peace negotiations in Kazakhstan which are planned to be hold on January 23, the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, François Delattre said that they could become a right step towards a long-expected resolution of the Syrian crisis and were able to provide direct contact between the warring parties.
His statement reflects the hopes of the world community that the talks in Astana may give a new impulse to the Syrian political process, because according to preliminary data, besides of official Damascus, a significant number of influential commanders of the “moderate” opposition previously acceded to the truce, will be attracted to the dialogue.
According to Al Akhbar, opposition delegation will consist of 44 people, most of whom will represent the formation of participating in Euphrates Shield which is held by the Turkish army in the north of Syria. Among the groups receiving support from the Gulf States, Jaish al-Islam, based near Damascus, will take part in the negotiations.
In addition, it is expected that the UN officials also will be invited to the meeting. Under its auspices on February 8 the next round of negotiations will begin in Geneva. According to an official representative of the Secretary General of the UN Stefan Dyuzharrik, the UN expects to receive an official invitation to the Kazakh capital from the organizers of the Syrian peace negotiations.
Experts predict that the peace process in Astana will justify its mission and help resolve the Syrian crisis. According to them, if progress, addressing the settlement of the serious issues is achieved, it is necessary to keep this format as a permanent platform devoid of drawbacks of Geneva, where many opposition structures actually blocked the negotiation process and for three years it was not possible to achieve the desired result.