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Turkey says Iraq, Lebanon could make Astana process on Syria more efficient

Turkey has suggested including each of Iraq and Lebanon in the Astana process on the Syrian settlement, according to news reports.

"The next summit will be held in Turkey. During the talks I said that we can include Iraq and Lebanon in the Astana process since both those countries have common borders with Syria and various relationships with the country," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying after the trilateral summit on Syria in Sochi.

"Representatives of the countries’ foreign ministries will jointly work over that issue, and they will be able to make the Astana process even more efficient in case of reaching an agreement on it,” he added.

On Feb. 14, leaders of the Astana process, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, held a trilateral summit in the Russian Black Sea resort, Sochi, for the first time since US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw US troops from Syria last December.

Three issues dominated the talks: first, what should happen to the opposition-held Idlib province and the demilitarised zone; second, how the Astana process partners should respond to the US decision to withdraw from northeastern Syria without having their interests clash and their cooperation collapse; and third, how to move forward on the formation of a constitutional committee, which is considered a key step towards a political solution.
Last Modified: Monday، 18 February 2019 11:36 AM