İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO-06.07.2017-  The fifth round of Astana talks held on 4-5 July in cooperation with three guarantor states, Russian Federation, Iran and Turkey, as well as the Syrian regime and two observer states USA and Jordan.

There are several issues talked. Initially, numerous experts had bilateral talks on Monday, a day before the official date of the Astana talks. On Tuesday, talks continued at the level of the heads of missions.

First meeting was about de-escalation zones, maps, what should be monitored, who is going to monitor the zones, what to do with violators, with al-Nusra and Daesh. In the fourth round of Astana talks, three ceasefire guarantor states signed a memorandum on the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria and announced the creation of a joint working group on its implementation. A diplomatic source told to Sputnik International as "Guarantor states would like to have other states involved in the monitoring too but maybe later. Other states are not part of this process. So they will need some kind of a decision from the Security Council in order to send their troops”. Eventually, sides decided to have a common working group to finalize the process.

Meanwhile, Syrian regime’s representative, Beshar al-Caferi, accused Turkish government to cripple the negotiations.

Secondly, sides had a consensus on the release of prisoners. It was already agreed last time, but the guarantors just did not have time for it. According to a diplomatic source, the text has been already agreed, there have been no changes. It just needs to be approved".

Additionally, opposition groups declared that they do not recognize guarantee of Iran and called Turkey to intervene to the situation.

Moreover, each side repeated their will for the protection of ‘’sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria’’.

The latest Astana meeting in May was a breakthrough, as the three ceasefire guarantor states signed a memorandum on the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria.

Common Working Group will have a meeting on August 1-2, in Iran and the sixth round of Astana talks will be held in the last week of August.

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