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Moscow-Damascus-Astana Video Link-Up on Syria's Peaceful Future

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the photo bankA view of Damascus. (File)
A view of Damascus. (File) - Sputnik International
Russian and foreign parliamentarian discuss the progress of the Syrian peace negotiations in a video conference titled 'Inter-Parliamentary Dialogue on Syria's Peaceful Future'.

Participants in Moscow:

— Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament;

— Ziyad Sabsabi, Russian senator and deputy chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations;

— Alexei Kondratiev, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security.

Participants in Damascus:

— Butrus Farakh Marjani, the Chairman of the Arab and Foreign Affairs Committee at the People’s Council of Syrian arba Republic;

— Khaled Abboud, the executive secretary for the People's Council of Syria;

— Ashwak Abbas, an independent representative of Syrian opposition.

Participants in Astana:

— Maj. Gen. Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov, the head of the Russian delegation at Astana consultations, said Monday;

— Sergey Vershinin, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Middle East and North Africa Department (MENAD) Director.


Konstantin Kosachev has strongly condemned the MSM propaganda: instead of providing true information on situation in Syria, the mainstream media continue to spread lie. Meanwhile, decision of the Russian president to provide information of Russian aerospace forces' actions in Syria to the US counterpart became a turning point in the conflict, Kosachev said.

"We visited Hmeymim airbase and saw representatives of the Reconciliation Center. There are more than thousands of groups which joined the ceasefire regime," Kosachev said. It's very important to hear for us the first-hand information about how the ceasefire regime is implemented in Syria, he noted.

The main topic to be discussed during the video conference:

— ceasefire regime

— humanitarian situation

— implementing of the UN resolutions on Syria.

Butrus Farakh Marjani said that Syrian side praised actions of the Russian aerospace forces. Syrian side is very appreciated that Russian counterparts coordinated its actions with Damascus.

Speaking about situation on the ground in Syria, Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov said that ceasefire regime is implementing step by step. More and more armed groups join the ceasefire, hostilities ceased.

Participants of the Syrian peace consultations in Astana coordinated on Thursday a number of concrete steps aimed at de-escalation of the situation in the war-torn country, the Russian General Staff said.

"It is a mutual opinion of all participants of the talks that the number of ceasefire violations is slowly but surely decreasing. That is why we coordinated a series of concrete steps aimed at further de-escalation of tensions in designated areas and at strengthening the ceasefire regime," Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate, said in a video-conferencing call Moscow-Astana-Damascus, organized by Rossiya Segodnya international information agency.

Mopreover, participants of Astana talks on Syria peace process coordinated on Thursday a prisoner-exchange mechanism and agreed the exchange of bodies of the victims, the Russian General Staff said.

"We had tough discussions today [in Astana], and managed to establish a mechanism for exchange of persons forcibly held in captivity, primarily women and children," Maj. Gen. Sergei Afanasyev, deputy head of the Russian General Staff's Main Directorate, said in a video-conferencing call Moscow-Astana-Damascus, organized by Rossiya Segodnya international information agency.

Afanasyev added that a provision on exchange of bodies of the victims was included in a document on a joint task force adopted at the talks on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry's Middle East and North Africa Department (MENAD) Director Sergey Vershinin said Thursday the talks on Syria in Astana were successful, adding that an important step was made to resolve the Syrian crisis.

"We can really talk about success, an important event, which is still ongoing, because the talks were held for two days, consisted of very detailed, large bilateral and tripartite consultations, and now they are being completed during the plenary session," Vershinin said during a Moscow-Damascus-Astana video linkup organized by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency.

Vershinin said a provision on a joint task force of Russia, Turkey and Iran had been adopted at the Astana meeting, and the group would work to preserve the ceasefire regime in Syria.

He added that the talks in Astana made a positive contribution to the common efforts of the international community in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East.

Ashwak Abbas, an independent representative of Syrian opposition, said that Syria is very grateful for Russian help, he hopes for Syrian peace settlement.

Speaking about humanitarian situation in Syria, Ziyad Sabsabi wondered where so-called Friends of Syria are while Syrian people suffering from humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, Russia continues to provide humanitarian aid to the country. Participants of the video conference from Damascus confirmed that Syrian needs humanitarian assistance from the international community. However, some countries propose assistance, but do not fuilfill its obligations.

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