Astana is Ready; What about the Opposition?




İlknur Şebnem Öztemel – TDO – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov , said that Kazakhstan was fully ready to host  the Syrian peace negotiations, in Astana. He said ‘’ The readiness is full on the part of Kazakhstan… I propose to consider January 23 the working date of the planned meeting’’.

Meanwhile, the debate over the representatives of the opposition in the meetings, is still continuing . It is still unclear that who or which group will represent the rebellions.Allegedly, in ongoing meetings it is currently trying to be established a representative delegation in Ankara.

It has been revealed that  Mohammad Alloush, the head of the  Jaish al-Islam rebel group, would lead the delegation. Alloush told to Reuters that rebels were going to Astana in order to neutralize the criminal role of Iran. Also the High Negotiation Commission (HNC) will go to Astana. Nevertheless, there are some rebel groups that rejected to attend to the meeting like Ahrar al-Sham group which is one of the main groups fighting on the ground. Naturally, Kurdish forces in Northern Syria and Daesh are excluded from the talks

Recently, Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow is inviting representatives of the incoming US administration to attend upcoming negotiations in Astana.He said: "We hope that the new administration will be able to accept that proposal’’.  He added ‘’Astana will offerthe first opportunity to discuss a more efficient fight against terrorism in Syria".Moreover, he said that this may be the first formal meeting between the new U.S. government and Russian Federation. Furthermore he argued that the cooperation to settlethe Syrian crisis will be more productive than it was with the Obama administration. Besides, he warned European states to not to effect negotiations negatively.

Consent on the ceasefire and  sending humanitarian aid to each neighborhood of Syria, rather than political solutions, is the priority of each side. It is significant to remind that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told to French media that he was ready to negotiate "everything" including his resignation, a week ago.