Bogdanov: The upcoming Astana meeting likely in mid-May

Moscow, SANA- Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, said that preparations are underway for the 9th Astana meeting on the crisis in Syria.

Speaking to Sputnik news agency on Thursday, Bogdanov said that the approximate date for the meeting is on May 15, adding that the preparations are under way for the meeting and that Russia’s high-level ministerial delegation, composed of the Head of the Russian delegation to Astana meetings Alexander Lavrentiev, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, and military colleagues traveled to Tehran and Ankara.

As to the timing of the next round of the Syrian dialogue in Geneva, the Russian diplomat said that this issue will be discussed on Friday during the meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, adding that holding Geneva meeting depends on several issues, including de Mistura’s activity and the willingness of the Syrian parties.

He affirmed that terrorists are hindering the arrival of the fact-finding mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to Douma, indicating that they do not want an objective and professional investigation into the alleged chemical attack.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

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