Erdogan: "The Astana process has become moribund"
Turkey - SMART
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Astana process has become moribund, as the Syrian government continues to violate ceasefire agreements with the support of Russia.
Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying, “Currently, Russia is not loyal to Astana or Sochi. If Russia remains committed to these agreements, we will also move on with the same loyalty.”
Erdogan said, “Turkey, Russia and Iran should seek a way to revive the Astana process.”
The Astana talks consist of 14 rounds, which started on Jan. 23, 2017, with the participation of representatives of the Syrian government and Free Syrian Army factions, under the supervision of Russia, Turkey and Iran. These parties reached de-escalation agreements in several regions of Syria, neither the Syrian government nor Russia adhered to the agreements.
Since Nov. 25, 2019, the Syrian government forces and loyalist militias, supported by Russia, have been launching a ground military attack on the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib. They intensified the attack on Dec. 20, 2019, as the Syrian government gained control of dozens of villages and towns in the region, after intense shelling. The Syrian government has recently gained control of the city of Maarrat al-Nu’man after intense shelling. The shelling killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.