Kazakhstan Upset by End of US-Russia Cooperation on Syria Peace Process – FM
Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov said that Kazakhstan is disappointed by premature end of US-Russian cooperation on Syria amid a worsening humanitarian situation and remaining terrorist threat.
ASTANA (Sputnik) – Kazakhstan is disappointed by premature end of US-Russian cooperation on Syria amid a worsening humanitarian situation and remaining terrorist threat, Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov said Monday.
“We are deeply saddened by a halt in cooperation between Russia and the US on efforts to settle the situation in Syria,” Idrissov told RIA Novosti.
The US State Department suspended last October its participation in bilateral channels with Russia on Syria and kept only military contacts in place to avoid accidents in Syrian airspace. Both sides accused each other of failing to live up to their commitments.
“We hoped that commitments made previously by the US and Russia would put an end to the terror threat coming from that country and allow them to coordinate action on securing humanitarian access,” the Kazakh diplomat said.
Idrissov said the government of the Central Asian nation thought it was crucial to restore US-Russia contacts to the previous level at a time when tens of thousands of foreign fighters from Europe and the Middle East, including Russia, were fighting alongside Islamists in Syria and Iraq.
“Obviously, some of them plan to come back to preach their extremist values and recruit new members. This should raise concern in the global community and prompt it to close its ranks in the fight against this threat,” Idrissov added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Friday he hoped the Kazakh capital of Astana would play host to talks between Syrian warring parties on a political solution to the five-year crisis. He confirmed Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev had agreed to host such an event.