ASTANA, Kazakhstan: Progress on the Syrian crisis has been made thanks to the Astana peace talks, a top UN envoy to Syria said in Kazakhstan Tuesday.
The envoy made the remarks at an international conference on “Astana, the city of peace” moderated by Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov in the capital Astana.
Attending the gathering were Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turkish diplomat who once headed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as well as EU Special Representative for Central Asia Peter Burian, and UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy.
Ramzy said the Astana process has contributed significantly to the cease-fire in Syria over the last year-and-a-half. May saw the lowest death rate in Syria in years, he added.
The Astana talks play an important role in setting up de-escalation zones and clearing mines, Ramzy said.
Despite the cease-fire, challenges are continuing, he said, adding that confidence-building measures are needed to settle the crisis.
The Astana peace talks were launched in January 2017 with the aim of putting an end to violence and improving the humanitarian situation in war-torn Syria.