State Dept: US to Concentrate on Geneva Peace Process on Syria

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is determined to advance the Geneva peace process on Syria, and Washington has no plans to participate in next month's Istanbul summit on the conflict, spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Wednesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his country will host the leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France for a summit on the Syrian conflict in Istanbul on September 7.

When asked whether she believes that the summit will replace the Geneva process, Nauert said, "No. Nothing is replacing Geneva.”

“I think this is another example and another reason for us to reaffirm our commitment to the Geneva process,” Nauert said. "We see the Geneva process, the UN-led process, as the only viable way forward for a long-term political solution in Syria.”

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Nauert also said she currently is not aware of any plans for US officials to participate in the Istanbul summit.

“The best way forward that the United states believes in, the United Nations and many other countries believe in is the Geneva process,” she added. “Perhaps that process needs to be goosed again, but I think you’ll be hearing in the coming days that is something that we are doubling down our efforts and supporting that process going forward.”

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Syria has been engulfed in a state of conflict since 2011, with a number of opposition groups and terrorist organizations supported by foreign countries fighting the Syrian Army to topple the government of President Bashar Assad.

The settlement of the Syrian conflict has been discussed in a number of international forums, including those in Geneva and Astana and the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Russia's Sochi.

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