The new round of Astana talks to discuss Syria’s future with the participation of Türkiye, Iran, Russia and Syria will take place in Kazakhstan on June 20-21, the Foreign Ministry said
“The 20th round of High Level Meeting on Syria in Astana format will be held on 20-21 June 2023 in Astana,” the ministry said, adding that the second technical meeting of the Quadripartite Process between the Turkish, Iranian, Russian and Syrian foreign ministries will also take place on the sidelines of the meeting.
The Turkish delegation will be headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akçapar, the ministry added.
The Astana process, initiated under the leadership of Türkiye and Russia to bring a cease-fire and conflicts under control in Syria, continues to be used as a platform where political and humanitarian issues are discussed.
The peace process was launched in January 2017 at the initiative of Türkiye, Russia and Iran. Its meetings also contribute to the advancement of a United Nations-led diplomatic process in Geneva.
Russia joined Syria’s 10-year conflict in September 2015, when the regime’s military appeared close to collapse, and has since helped in tipping the balance of power in favor of Bashar Assad, whose forces now control much of the country. Hundreds of Russian troops are deployed across Syria and they also have a military air base along Syria’s Mediterranean coast.
While Iran and Russia support Assad, Türkiye has been supporting the opposition.
Russia’s long-standing effort to open a channel of dialogue between Türkiye and the Bashar Assad regime paid off last year, as the defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Türkiye, Russia and the Bashar Assad regime met in Moscow.
Any normalization between Ankara and Damascus would reshape the decade-long Syrian war. Turkish backing has been vital to sustaining moderate Syrian opposition in their last significant territorial foothold in the northwest after Assad defeated opponents across the rest of the country, aided by Russia and Iran.