Egypt Not Taking Part in Astana Talks On Syria – FM Source

Cairo — Egypt won’t be participating in the Syrian peace settlement talks that kicked off Monday in the Kazakh capital of Astana, a foreign ministry source told Aswat Masriya.


Representatives from the Syrian regime and rebel groups will be aiming to resolve the Syrian conflict in meetings organised by regime backers Russia and Iran as well as Turkey, which backs the rebels.


The rebels and government said that talks will focus on strengthening a nationwide ceasefire that was brokered by Russia and Turkey last month.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had revealed at the time that Egypt could join the negotiations.


A source at Egypt’s foreign ministry said on Monday that Egypt’s decision to not take part in the negotiations was due to the “desire of the participants to limit the meetings to Syrian parties only, without an Arab or international participation.”


The source added that Egypt maintains contact with Russia and will be monitoring the results coming out of the talks.


Egypt has maintained an unclear stance toward the Syrian crisis, only stating that it wants to preserve the Syrian state and army and urged for a political settlement to end the crisis.


The Syrian conflict has left more than 310,000 people killed and displaced more than half of the country’s population over the past five years.


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