New round of Astana talks starts amid Turkish airstrikes
Iran, Russia, and Turkey renewed their commitment to the necessity of preserving Syria's sovereignty and integrity during the 19th session of high-level negotiations of the Astana format summit.
Following Turkish air attacks in northern Syria, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are conducting the 19th session of high-level negotiations of the Astana format summit on the peaceful settlement in Syria in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
The delegations are led by Russia's special presidential envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, Ali Asghar Khaji, the Iranian foreign minister's senior adviser for special political matters, and Selcuk Unal, the Turkish foreign ministry's director-general for Syria.
Prior to the meeting, Lavrentyev stated that the parties would discuss security challenges in Syria, where terrorist activity is on the rise.
Earlier, and in light of the strikes on Syrian territory, Moscow urged Turkey to exercise caution, according to Alexander Lavrentyev, the special presidential envoy of Russia for Syria.
At the beginning of the 19th round of talks on the Syrian settlement in Astana, Lavrentyev said, "We will call on our Turkish colleagues to show certain restraint in order to prevent an escalation of tension, not only in the northern and northeastern regions of Syria but throughout the entire territory."
The envoy emphasized that efforts should be made to find a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish issue while working with all parties involved.
The talks will end on November 23, with representatives from the Syrian government and opposition, as well as the United Nations, taking part in addition to delegations from the format's three guarantor states.
On Sunday, Turkey launched the so-called Operation Claw-Sword with air raids targeting the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in both Iraq and Syria.
Turkey urges US to cut support to 'terrorist groups' threatening its security - Minister
On Tuesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar urged other nations—particularly the United States—to cease supporting the People's Defense Units (YPG), which Ankara has deemed terrorist and linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party.
"Operation Claw-Sword, launched on Nov. 19 in northern areas of Iraq and Syria, has been the largest, most comprehensive and most effective air operation against the terrorist organization in the recent period," Akar said, as quoted by the Daily Sabah newspaper.
The operation, the minister emphasized, only went after terrorists who posed a threat to Turkey's security.
"Everyone has to understand this. We tell all our interlocutors, especially the U.S., that the PKK means the YPG and demand continuously that all kinds of support for terrorists is ceased," Akar emphasized.