Turkey has failed to convince its proxies to exchange prisoners with the Damascus government in the framework of the Astana Process, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported on December 11, citing a source familiar with the ongoing talks in Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan (Ankara).
According to the source, Damascus was ready to release all the prisoners demanded by Turkey. However, Ankara failed to convince its proxies to release the captives they are holding.
Turkish-backed militants reportedly demanded a ransom to release the captives, rejecting any prisoners exchange deal.
“Work on this issue continues, just this time it was not possible to complete it,” the source said, noting that the parties will continue negotiations.
The Damascus government and Turkish-backed militants exchanged dozens of prisoners in the framework of the Astana Process over the last year. Now the militants, who are infamous for their criminal activities, are apparently more interested in money.
The ongoing round of Astana talks in Nur-Sultan will end today. The last few hours may witness a breakthrough on the prisoners issue if Ankara pressures its proxies harder.