Human Rights

France says Russia agrees on coordination mechanism for Syria talks

PARIS,France said on Wednesday that it had received agreement from Russia to set up a “coordination mechanism” to establish a dialogue between the “Small group” of nations and the Astana process for Syrian peace talks, which includes Russia, Iran and Turkey.

The “Small Group” is comprised of around 24 nations, including Kuwait, which are part of the Coalition formed to fight so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

France and other nations have been pushing for some ways of combining sometimes efforts to get a peaceful resolution to the Syrian civil war.

The French Foreign Ministry said in a briefing Wednesday that this issue was discussed between President Emmanuel Macron and Russian leader Vladimir Putin when they met in Saint Petersburg last week.

“In Saint Petersburg, the President of the Republic and President Putin agreed on the setting up of a bilateral coordination mechanism with a view to having an agenda for parallel but common discussions in the Small Group and the Astana group,” spokeswoman Agnes Von Der Muhll said at a Foreign Ministry briefing.

She remarked that the aim was to “establish a dialogue between the two groups and to build together convergences which will allow a political solution to the Syrian crisis.” Discussions are ongoing with Russia and also with the members of the Small Group both on the operational aspects of the coordination mechanism and on the concrete themes that should be addressed, the French official indicated.

The regular meetings of the “Small Group” have included two dozen or more delegations coming from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, EU, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the US and the United Nations as an observer.

Source: Kuwait News Agency