Senior officials from Türkiye, Syria, Russia and Iran will hold their second meeting to facilitate the normalization process between Ankara and Damascus and discuss a road map on how to proceed to this end.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced late on June 19 that the parties will meet in Kazakhstan’s Astana on June 20 and 21. The meeting will address two different sessions, according to the Foreign Ministry. Türkiye will participate in these meetings with an inter-agency delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akçapar.
The deputy foreign ministers of four countries will first attend the 20th round of the High-Level Meeting on Syria as part of the Astana Process, which was created by Türkiye, Russia and Iran for resolving the civil war in the neighboring country.
“The second technical meeting of the Quadripartite Process between the Foreign Ministries of Türkiye, Iran, Russia, and Syria will also take place in Astana on this occasion,” read the statement, referring to a new mechanism that aims to normalize ties between Ankara and Damascus.
A process for ending the diplomatic row between Ankara and Damascus was launched by Russia at the end of 2022 where the two countries’ defense ministers and intelligence service chiefs met. Following this first step, Iran was also included in the process.
In May, foreign ministers of four countries met in Moscow and decided to set up a technical committee led by deputy foreign ministers to draw a road map for the development of ties. The deputy ministers in Astana will therefore discuss the progress of work on the draft roadmap for the normalization of relations between Syria and Türkiye, as well as bilateral and trilateral consultations of the participating countries of the Astana process.
Astana meet to discuss political situation
According to a statement by Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry, the agenda of the 20th Astana meeting will include changing of the regional situation around Syria, efforts to comprehensive settlement in Syria and the situation “on the ground,” counter-terrorism issues, confidence-building measures, in particular, the release of hostages and search for missing persons, the humanitarian situation in Syria, mobilization of efforts of the international community in order to promote for the post-conflict recovery of Syria, and the creation of conditions for the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.
In addition, as part of the negotiations, a regular meeting of the Working Group on forcibly detained persons/hostages, the transfer of the bodies of dead and the search for missing persons is set to be held with the participation of representatives of guarantor countries, the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross.