Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abu Zaid - File Photo Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abu Zaid - File Photo

Egypt refutes media report on participation in Astana talks

Sat, Oct. 28, 2017
CAIRO – 28 October 2017: The Egyptian Foreign Ministry denied media reports about Egypt’s willingness to participate in next week’s Syria reconciliation talks, the ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zaid said on Friday.

A new round of UN-led talks between Syria's conflicting parties will take place in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on November 30, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said Thursday. The meeting will follow up on the sixth round of the Syria talks held in mid-September between the guarantor countries of the Syrian truce (Russia, Iran and Turkey).

Russian news agency TASS reported that Egypt is ready to attend the Syria talks in October as an observer in case it received an invitation from the negotiations’ organizers.

Abu Zaid explained that the Russian agency asked him whether Cairo has received an invitation to join the Syria peace talks, to which he informed the agency that the ministry did not receive such request.

The guarantor countries were holding consultations in the last meeting on sending invitations to new observers of the peace process. Russian Presidential Envoy for the Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentyev said that China, the UAE, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon could act as observers, according to Sputnik.

Syria has been plagued with a six-year armed conflict, which began with anti-government protests, before escalating into a full-scale civil war. More than 11 million people have been forced from their homes, and more than 465,000 Syrians have been killed.
 
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