The negotiations in Astana yielded good results. This was announced by the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. He said participation of the opposition groups and the establishment of a mechanism securing the ceasefire were a positive outcome of the meeting. Its detailed implementation will be discussed at a technical meeting with the UN participation in Astana.

STAFFAN DE MISTURA, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL'S SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA:

In this meeting in Astana and on the ceasefire level, we have armed groups, 13 of them were present in Astana, and on the other side - the government. The second is that there is a serious intention to actually establish a mechanism that was missing the other ceasefires. And three countries who do have assets on the ground and you know I mean by that – Russian Federation, Turkey and Iran have become the guarantors. So they have a capacity to actually ensure that the ceasefire is holding.

Geneva talks on Syria were postponed to the 20th of February. Meanwhile, foreign experts express their opinions regarding the Astana Process. Ukrainian political analyst Dmitry Levus believes that Kazakhstan will enter history as a peacemaker in the settlement of the Syrian conflict. He said that the Astana meeting can strengthen global security.

DMITRY LEVUS, DIRECTOR, PUBLIC STUDIES CENTER ‘UKRAINIAN MERIDIAN’:

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry understood that this issue is more than complicated. Nevertheless, I would say, Kazakhstan’s diplomacy coped with this challenge. That is, the negotiations took place and despite the fact that controversy of various Syrian oppositions has not disappeared, yet they managed to bring the parties to a roundtable.

In Moscow, orientalists, specialists in the Syrian conflict, and Russian politicians discussed the results of the Astana Process and the chances for a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis. Experts agreed that the meeting in Astana has created a new basis for further talks between the Syrian government and the opposition groups. The Kazakh capital catalyzed the dialogue between the Syrian government and opposition ahead of the Geneva Talks.

ANDREI BAKLANOV, ADVISOR TO DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF RUSSIA’S FEDERATION COUNCIL:

The main achievement of the Astana Process is the establishment of a tripartite mechanism to monitor the ceasefire regime. This is a real achievement. What is important here from a political perspective is that if this mechanism works it will eventually become the basis for a wider political monitoring mechanism, which would generally help the settlement of the Syrian conflict.

VLADIMIR SAZHIN, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, INSTITUTE FOR ORIENTAL STUDIES, RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES:

Syria talks have been held in different formats since 2012, if I'm not mistaken. The armed opposition fighting in Syria has participated in the meeting for the first time. This is also a positive outcome.

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