U.S. envoy to Kazakhstan to attend Syria talks as an observer
The U.S. State Department said on Saturday it will not send a delegation from Washington to attend Syrian peace talks in the Kazakh capital next week due to immediate demands of the transition, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The State Department's acting spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, George Krol, would attend the Jan. 23 Russian-led talks as an observer.
"We welcome and appreciate Kazakhstan's invitation to participate as an observer," Toner said in a statement, "Given our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition, a delegation from Washington will not be attending the Astana conference."
Toner said the U.S. was committed to a political resolution to the Syrian crisis through a Syrian-owned process.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday he hoped the new administration of President Donald Trump would send a Middle East expert to the talks.
With Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, not expected to get a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote before Monday, the new administration asked the State Department's No. 3 official, Tom Shannon, to stay on.
U.N. Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura has said he intends to convene separate peace talks in Geneva on Feb. 8. The U.N.-backed talks have been held intermittently. Russia says the Kazakh talks would complement, rather than compete with, the U.N. talks.
The Moscow-led effort to revive diplomacy, without the participation of the United States, has emerged with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad buoyed by the defeat of rebels in Aleppo, and as ties thaw between Russia and Turkey, long one of the rebels' main backers.
Air strikes and clashes, particularly near the Syrian capital Damascus, have tarnished a shaky ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey since it began two weeks ago, and the warring sides have accused each other of violations.
Related news releases
- 28.04.2017Russia's PM Medvedev thanks Turkish premier for help in evacuating crew of wrecked ship
- 27.04.201713 people indicted for theft from EU Armenia delegation grant funds - UPDATED
- 26.04.2017Russia says U.S. missile strike on Syria was a threat to its forces
- 26.04.2017Sixth Moscow conference on int’l security kicks off
- 25.04.2017Russian schoolboy hospitalized after being attacked by lion
- 24.04.2017Georgian first lady’s brother sentenced to 4 years in prison
- 24.04.2017Mogherini: EU still has disagreements with Russia on Ukraine issue
- 22.04.2017Russian serviceman killed in Armenia
- 21.04.2017Protest staged outside government building in Yerevan
- 21.04.2017Over half of Russians want Lenin’s body to be buried - poll
- 21.04.2017Unidentified gunman opens fire in FSB office in Russia’s Khabarovsk
- 21.04.2017Russian army pilots in Armenia hold night trainings
- 21.04.2017State of counter-terror operation imposed in two districts in Dagestan
- 20.04.2017Russia says metro bomber funded by 'international terrorists' in Turkey
- 20.04.2017Russia’s FSB close to establishing instigator of St. Petersburg metro attack
- 19.04.2017FSB detains brother of St. Petersburg metro attack suspect
- 19.04.2017Russian journalist dies after attack in St. Petersburg
- 19.04.2017Ukrainian MP slams Zaporozhye regional council for “Armenian genocide” statement
- 19.04.2017Russia's FSB eliminates two Central Asian would-be terrorists in Vladimir region
- 19.04.2017OSCE Secretary General, Russian FM to mull Karabakh conflict
- 19.04.2017US F-22 fighter jets scrambled to intercept Russian strategic bombers near Alaska
- 18.04.2017Russian president congratulates Turkish counterpart on outcome of Turkey's Constitutional Referendum
- 18.04.2017Russia puts Moscow air defenses on high alert
- 18.04.2017Normandy Four states point out importance of Easter ceasefire in Donbass
- 17.04.2017Suspected organizer of St. Petersburg metro attack detained near Moscow
- 17.04.2017Russia to open embassy in self-proclaimed “Republic of Abkhazia”
- 14.04.2017Armenian opposition appeals to Constitutional Court to annul outcome of elections
- 14.04.2017Yuri Khachaturov appointed CSTO Secretary General
- 14.04.2017MP comments on Baku mosque demolition case
- 14.04.2017Russian, Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers hold trilateral talks
- 14.04.2017Eurasian Economic Union endorses Moldova’s application for observer status
- 14.04.2017St.Peterburg teenager seriously injured as bomb goes off in his hands
- 13.04.2017Russian and Turkish presidents hold phone conversation
- 13.04.2017Belarus pays off $726 mln gas debt to Russia's Gazprom
- 13.04.2017Former head of Russia's Mari El Republic detained over suspected bribe-taking
- 12.04.2017Russia’s top diplomat demands probe into Syrian chemical attack
- 12.04.2017Putin says trust erodes under Trump, Moscow icily receives Tillerson
- 12.04.2017Russian, Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers to meet in Moscow
- 12.04.2017Putin: Almost half of foreign Islamic State militants are from CIS countries
- 12.04.2017Putin vows he won’t allow color revolutions in Russia
- 21.01.2017De Mistura arrives in Astana for Intra-Syrian talks
- 24.01.2017Russia Awaits Reaction of Syrian Opposition on Proposed Draft Constitution
- 25.01.2017Russian FM: Nearly 50 countries willing to co-op with Eurasian Economic Union
- 21.01.2017Putin ready to meet with Trump – Peskov
- 19.01.2017Russia's Lavrov says U.S. invited to Astana talks on Syria
- 19.01.2017Diplomat: Trump’s inauguration raises hope for end of crisis in Russia-US relations