Astana Platform
Astana Platform

The Astana Platform was initiated by Randa Kassis and Fabien Baussart, founder of the CPFA (Center of Political and Foreign Affairs) in collaboration with the Kazakh government, following numerous meetings, which took place in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan.

After the unsuccessful meeting between the Syrian opposition and the Syrian regime during the second round of negotiations in Moscow, Kassis called on the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to host the Syrian opposition for a new round of negotiations between several Syrian opposition groups.

The First round of negotiations in Astana was held from 25 to 27 May 2015 and mediated by the Kazakh FM Erlan Idrissov. The majority of the Syrian opposition signed a statement on 28 May in which they agreed to work together for a gradual political transition of power, they underlined the need for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and agreed to return to Astana to continue the intra-Syrian dialogue.

The Syrian opposition forces held a second round of negotiations in Astana from 2 to 4 October 2015 headed by the Secretary of State of Kazakhstan Gulshar Abdeskalkova and mediated by the President of CPFA. The majority of the Syrian opposition groups released a final document in which they called for a reform of the constitution, which currently does not allow for fair elections as well as a reform of the electoral process in Syria.

In 2016, the Astana platform participated in the Geneva Peace Talks 4, under the aegis of the United Nations.

In 2017, the Astana platform decided to pursue its work while taking into consideration the outcome of the Astana meeting in 2015 during which the parties agreed on drafting a new constitution for Syria. The Astana platform organized with the CPFA several meetings throughout the year, and invited Syrian constitutionalists, political opposition figures representing various political forces and international experts, such as French constitutionalist expert Xavier Latour, former Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, and former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi.

The draft of the Syrian constitution was completed at the end of 2017. During that same year, the Astana platform held several meetings with a number of Russian officials regarding the Syrian committee.

On the 30th of January 2018, Sochi hosted the Syrian National Dialogue Congress during which the President of the Astana Platform called for the formation of a Syrian Constitutional Committee (SCC), which was later adopted.

After the three guarantors of the Syrian political process - Russia, Turkey and Iran - agreed to adopt the SCC under the aegis of the United Nations, the Astana platform and the CPFA, in cooperation with the Community of Sant’Egidio, called for holding several meetings in Rome between Syrian political opposition forces such as the Syrian National Coalition, the Syrian Negotiation Commission, Syriac National Council, Kurds, and other parties to draw a roadmap for a political solution to the Syrian crisis.