Syria rejects Saudi Arabia, Qatar participation in Astana talks

Beirut, Jan 19 (IANS) Damascus expressed its rejection of Saudi Arabia and Qatar participating in the peace talks on Syria scheduled for January 23 in Astana, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad said.

Miqdad said in an interview on Wednesday with that his country will only discuss the issue of Qatar and Saudi Arabia participation in the talks when they give up their support for terrorism, Efe news reported.

The minister warned that those who support terrorism will play no role at the meeting in the capital of Kazakhstan.

As for a hypothetical participation of United States representatives, the Syrian official said that anyone who wants to work honestly to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis must take part in the talks.

Miqdad recalled that Washington has banned support for terrorist groups, pressured Turkey to close its borders with Syria and punished those who finance and arm terrorism, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The peace talks on Syria in Astana are included in the truce agreement currently in force in the Arab country, which was reached thanks to an agreement between Russia, allied with the government of Damascus, and Turkey, which supports the opposition.

Kazakhstan is ready to host Syrian peace talks in Astana, Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov recently said.

“We’ll provide more information once the participants and the format have been decided. Kazakhstan is ready for the talks,” Abdrakhmanov added.