The next round of the Astana talks will be held in Sochi on July 30-31, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin told media on June 29.
“It will be held in the last two days of July, that has essentially been agreed, and in the format that we used before, that is, the three guarantor countries, the observer states and the Syrian parties,” the state-run news agency TASS quoted Vershinin as saying. “I believe the work in the Astana format is a big achievement, and we would like to push ahead with these efforts.”
Vershinin said that an important result of the Astana format is the setting up of the working group on exchanging detainees and bodies of those killed.
“This is hard work, but so far the only efforts, which help establish trust between the parties to the conflict,” he stressed. “This group held its regular meeting in Ankara recently, and it will continue to work in the future, including, I hope, on the sidelines of the Astana format meeting in Sochi on July 30-31.”