Iran, Russia, Turkey confer on Sochi statement

TEHRAN, Jul. 31 (MNA) – The Iranian, Turkish and Russian delegations sat down for talks Mon. night in Sochi to confer on the draft of the final statement of the 10th high-level meeting of the guarantor states for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria.

The tenth round of Astana format meeting kicked off in the Russian city of Sochi on Monday with the participation of the Syrian government's delegation, and delegations representing other sides to the talks — Russia, Turkey, Iran, the United Nations and the Syrian opposition.

Monday saw a marathon of closed-door bilateral meetings and a session of the working group on detainees.

The Iranian delegation is led by Hossein Jaberi Ansari, senior aide to Iranian foreign minister, the Russian delegation is led by Special Presidential Representative for the Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentyev, and the Turkish delegation is headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal.

The Syrian government's delegation is led by the country's permanent representative to the UN, Bashar Jaafari. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is also taking part in the two-day Astana-10 talks.

Following the meeting of the three guarantor states in Sochi behind closed doors, the sides held bilateral meetings with one another as well as with representatives from the Syrian opposition and Syrian government.

After the meeting on Monday, Bashar Jaafari told reporters that he would not talk to any media on the details of the meeting. Staffan de Mistura talked to reporters for a short time, only talking about the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting. According to him, the Tuesday talks will focus on Syrian constitutional commission, the return of the displaced and the release of the detainees.

Russia’s envoy for Syria also told reporters that Sochi talks are being held in a constructive atmosphere and meetings are being held according to schedule. Lavrentyev, meanwhile, declined to reveal any details about the negotiations, and maintained that the results of the talks would be disclosed to media at the end of Tuesday’s meeting.

Meanwhile, a source at the talks told Sputnik that there would possibly be separate talks on the creation of the Syrian constitutional commission in Sochi parallel to the Astana-format negotiations.

“Such a meeting was supposed to happen in Geneva soon, but since all the participants are here now, it may be more convenient," the source said.

It is expected that the three guarantor states release a joint final statement at the end of the general meeting on Tuesday.

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