Astana to determine future of Syria peace talks, Erdoğan says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
emIHA Photo/em
IHA Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that preliminary work for the upcoming Astana Summit which will be held Sept. 14 has been finished and added that the steps taken toward establishing peace in Syria will hopefully be finalized in Astana.

Speaking at a news conference with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana, Erdoğan said that the outcome of Astana will determine the success of Geneva process.

He also noted that Turkey and Kazakhstan should work together to boost bilateral trade ties between the two countries.

"Our goal is to boost the trade volume to $5 billion [from $2 billion] as soon as possible, as we previously said" Erdoğan said, adding that both countries have the potential to achieve this goal.

Meanwhile, the Kazakh president said that Turkey and Kazakhstan collaborate on a number of issues, including regional problems and other projects.

Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Presidential aide İbrahim Kalın and Turkey's Ambassador to Astana Nevzat Uyanık also attended the meeting between the two leaders.

A week after his visit to Kazakhstan, President Erdoğan will attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York City in the U.S. from Sept. 19 to Sept. 25.

Turkey and Kazakhstan established a High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in May 2012 when then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a visit to to the country. The first meeting of the council was held from October 11-12, 2012 during President Nazarbayev's visit to Ankara. The second meeting was held from April 15-17, 2015 during President Erdoğan's most recent visit to Kazakhstan.

On May 4, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a deal in the Kazakh capital Astana to establish de-escalation zones in Syria.

The May 4 de-escalation zone agreement envisages the halt of hostilities between Assad regime forces and moderate opposition groups within the zones as well as the creation of conditions for humanitarian access, medical assistance, the return of displaced civilians to their homes and the restoration of damaged infrastructure. The guarantor states previously agreed to take all measures necessary to continue fighting Daesh, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups both within and beyond the de-escalation zones.

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