News
News
Saudi Arabia Imposing Own Plans of New Government on Syria

Sputnik 19/11/2015

There are both government and opposition representatives on the list of figures for the new Syrian government proposed by Saudi Arabia, according to Randa Kassis, leader of the Movement for a Pluralistic Society.
Saudi Arabia is trying to impose on Syria its own plan for the transitional government, Randa Kassis, leader of the Movement for a Pluralistic Society, said Thursday.According to her, currently there are four lists of potential candidates to the Syrian opposition delegation for talks with the Syrian government.
“There are four lists, including one proposed by Russia, one proposed by Egypt, one by Saudi Arabia, and one by the US. Saudi Arabia did not submit its proposals, but it gave the names of the people it wants to be in the new government, including representatives of both the current authorities and opposition,” Kassis said at a press conference hosted by Rossiya Segodnya information agency in Moscow.
“Of course, Saudi Arabia is a significant player, but the Syrian people cannot let any other country – like Saudi Arabia – impose on us the entire cabinet,” she underscored.
A meeting between the Syrian government and an opposition delegation should be organized in a “neutral place,” Kassis added.
Participants of the international meeting on Syria in Vienna on Saturday agreed that the next round of talks between the government and opposition should take place before January 1, 2016. Within the next few months, the Syrian government and opposition should agree on the national unity government, and within 18 months the country should hold elections in accordance with a new constitution. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said in Vienna that participants of the talks would help the Syrian opposition form a delegation for further talks with the government.Syria has been engulfed in an armed conflict since March 2011. According to the UN, over 220,000 people have been killed. Government forces have been fighting against various militant groups, including the Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist group and al-Nusra Front.

Source: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151119/1030381500.html#ixzz3sVlRNYVR


ERROR: File not found
Russia-Syrian Opposition/Parliamentary Elections

CCTV+ 19/11/2015

Syria’s parliamentary elections should be held at the beginning of 2016, said Randa Kassis, leader of the Syrian opposition Movement for a Pluralistic Society on Thursday in Moscow, Russia.
Randa Kassis said the opposition had met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and asked Russia to press the Syrian government to hold parliamentary elections, among other things, in short term to eventually solve Syrian problems with a democratic solution.
Randa Kassis said Russia is quite active about the proposal.
“The elections must be fair and transparent, with all parties being able to participate. We hope the election can be held in February 2016 and there is not much time left. During this period of time, we must work with the United Nations, and Mr. de Mistura to set up a special committee to prepare for the parliamentary elections. We also need to rewrite the constitution and set up a transitional government,” said Randa Kassis.
Representatives of Syrian oppositions held a meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, in October 2015, saying they were well prepared to take part in the parliamentary elections in 2016.


ERROR: File not found
Syrian Opposition Meets for Second Round of Talks in Astana

MFA Government 09/10/2015

Representatives of the Syrian opposition held a second round of consultations in Astana Oct. 2–4, resulting in a joint declaration signed by 29 of the 37 participants envisaging further possible measures for resolving the crisis in Syria and calling for more meetings.
“During the first round of consultation, a number of documents were signed with initiatives to counter the crisis. In the second round, initiatives on the rapid solution of the Syrian crisis were added,” Syrian politician Randa Kassis, who was one of the first to call for talks in Astana, said.
At the second round of talks, “Astana-2,” participants paid particular attention to the electoral process in Syria, emphasising that elections needed to be open to all citizens, regardless of their location in the country or abroad. It was resolved to reform barriers to free elections in the country, either by establishing new legislation or be reforming clauses of the constitution that inhibit it. Participants also agreed to create a new committee of negotiators and to maintain the fight against terrorism. They also urged the release of prisoners captured by terrorists, reported The Astana Times.

“I want to emphasise one point, which was not discussed during Astana-1. We once again ask [for the release of] prisoners captured by terror operatives. We have agreed with initiatives to participate in elections in February 2016,” Kassis announced.
Among the participants in the second round of talks were representatives of different political forces. The participants thanked Kazakhstan’s government, particularly President Nazarbayev, for providing them with a dialogue platform from which to address the ongoing crisis in Syria.

The October talks were mediated by Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mussinov and Director of the French Centre for Political and Foreign Affairs Fabien Baussart, and Secretary of State of Kazakhstan Gulshara Abdykalikova offered opening remarks.
Kazakhstan hopes talks between the Syrian authorities and the opposition in the framework of the Geneva process will continue, Abdykalikova said, addressing the participants. “We want to give a hand to the Syrian people, who are experiencing great difficulties; in particular, food and medicine [shortages]. Kazakhstan supports efforts by the UN, the League of Arab States, the U.S., Russia and other stakeholders in Syria and believes the crisis must be resolved through genuine political dialogue between Syrian authorities and the opposition,” she explained.

In her statement, Abdykalikova emphasised President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev’s support for international efforts based on international law geared toward restoring trust between nations and strengthening peace and security. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly a few days prior to the talks, Nazarbayev proposed a Global Strategic Initiative to create by 2045 a new trend in global development based on fair conditions giving all nations.

In her statement, Abdykalikova emphasised President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev’s support for international efforts based on international law geared toward restoring trust between nations and strengthening peace and security. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly a few days prior to the talks, Nazarbayev proposed a Global Strategic Initiative to create by 2045 a new trend in global development based on fair conditions giving all nations equal access to infrastructure, resources and markets, she noted.

The May 25 – 27 round of talks among Syrian opposition leaders that Kazakhstan hosted provided an opportunity to discuss the political situation in the embattled country, Abdykalikova noted, and resulted in some possible solutions, such as the creation of a provisional government. She stressed that those negotiations were based on key agreements, including the need to follow the Geneva principles in finding a solution, the condemnation of all forms of terrorism and a collective call to end foreign paramilitary involvement.

The secretary of state noted that this round of talks involved representatives of a higher level than previous discussions.

This spring, representatives of the Syrian opposition publicly asked Kazakhstan to host talks on the crisis. Nazarbayev accepted their proposal. Following intense and complicated negotiations in Astana, the participants issued a joint statement on May 28 titled “Astana Declaration for a Political Solution in Syria.”


ERROR: File not found
Representatives of Syrian Opposition Meet in Astana

The Astana Times 06/10/2015

ASTANA – Representatives of the Syrian opposition held a fresh round of consultations in Astana Oct. 2–4.
Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Askar Mussinov and Director of the French Centre for Political and Foreign Affairs Fabien Baussart mediated the talks. Secretary of State of Kazakhstan Gulshara Abdykalikova offered opening remarks.
Abdykalikova emphasised that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev supports initiatives to restore trust in international relations and strengthen peace and security based on international law. To this end, just a few days prior, Nazarbayev proposed a 2045 Global Strategic Initiative during the United Nations General Assembly, she said.
According to Abdykalikova, Kazakhstan hopes for the continuation of talks between the Syrian authorities and the opposition in the framework of the Geneva process. “We want to give a hand to the Syrian people, who are experiencing great difficulties, in particular, food and medicine [shortages]. Kazakhstan supports efforts by the UN, the League of Arab States, the U.S., Russia and other stakeholders in Syria and believes the crisis must be resolved through genuine political dialogue between Syrian authorities and the opposition,” Abdykalikova said.
She noted that Kazakhstan hosted a meeting of Syrian opposition leaders, which provided an opportunity to discuss the political situation in Syria and possible solutions, such as the creation of a provisional government, on May 25–27. The negotiations were based on the following key agreements: a need to follow the Geneva principles in finding a solution, the condemnation of all forms of terrorism and a collective call to end foreign paramilitary involvement, she stressed.
Abdykalikova noted that this round of talks included higher level representatives than previous discussions.
Following the talks, the parties signed a declaration that envisages further measures of resolution for the Syrian crisis and the organisation of meetings.
The participants thanked Kazakhstan’s government, particularly President Nazarbayev, for providing a dialogue platform to address the Syrian crisis.
“During the first round of consultation, a number of documents were signed with initiatives to counter the crisis. In the second round, initiatives on the rapid solution of the Syrian crisis were added,” Syrian politician Randa Kassis said.
The participants of the second round, “Astana-2,” paid special attention to the electoral process, emphasising the fact that elections should be open to all citizens, regardless of their location in the country or abroad.
In addition, it was decided to establish new reforms or to reform some of the constitution clauses that do not currently allow for fair elections, to create a new committee of negotiators, as well as fight against terrorism.
“I want to emphasise one point, which was not discussed during Astana-1. We once again ask [for the release of] prisoners captured by terror operatives. We have agreed with initiatives to participate in elections in February 2016,” Kassis added.
The second round was attended by 37 people, including representatives of different political offices.
Earlier this spring, representatives of the Syrian opposition publicly asked Kazakhstan to host talks on the Syrian crisis. Nazarbayev accepted their proposal to help in hosting talks on the civil war in Syria. Following intense and complicated negotiations in Astana, the participants issued a joint statement in Arabic on May 28 titled “Astana Declaration for a Political Solution in Syria.”

Source: https://astanatimes.com/2015/10/representatives-of-syrian-opposition-meet-in-astana/


ERROR: File not found
Syrian opposition signed final declaration after talks in Astana

Inform Kazakh 04/10/2015

The second round of the Syrian opposition negotiations ended today in Astana with signing a final declaration which outlines the measures on further organization of meetings and fighting with crisis. "I would like to thank the Republic of Kazakhstan and President Nursultan Nazarbayev who let us gather here again. A lot of documents related to fighting crisis in Syria were signed at the first conference. The second meeting was notable for the initiatives on early resolution of the Syrian crisis," President and founder of the Movement of the Pluralistic Society of Syria Randa Kassis said. The participants of Astana-2 talks paid special attention to the election process emphasizing that all nationals of Syria may participate in them regardless of whether they are in Syria or not. The parties discussed also the problems of refugees in the region. "The refugee crisis will last as long as there is conflict in Syria, The only measure to stop it is to stop the bloodshed and the war. We need to come to a fair political solution which will reflect the opinion of the majority of the Syrian society," other representative of the Syrian opposition Bassam Bitar said. "We hope to find a quick solution and finish the Syrian process in a peaceful way," one more Syrian opposition member Abdulla Abdulsaid noted.

Source: https://www.inform.kz/en/syrian-opposition-signed-final-declaration-after-talks-in-astana-photo_a2824811


ERROR: File not found
Second round of Syrian opposition talks to kick off in Astana on Friday

Akipress 02/10/2015

The second round of reconciliation talks of the representatives of the Syrian opposition will be held later on Friday in Astana, according to the press service of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.
Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan Gulshara Abdykalikova will deliver welcome speech at the beginning of the negotiations.
Earlier this year, leader of the Movement for Pluralistic Society Randa Kassis and other representatives of the Syrian opposition appealed to the leadership of Kazakhstan to provide a platform for the second round of talks.
The first round took place in May in Astana with some 30 Syrian opposition members. The two-day reconciliation talks ended with signing of a document summing up the results of negotiations.
Syria has been in a state of civil war for the past four years, with government forces engaged in a war against various militias, including the Islamic State.
Syria’s warring parties have met twice over the last three years at UN-backed Geneva conferences and twice in the Russian capital Moscow but failed to reach a practical solution toward ending the violence that has killed more than 220,000 people.


ERROR: File not found
Syrian Opposition to Hold Conference in Kazakh Capital on October 2-4Syrian Opposition to Hold Conference in Kazakh Capital on October 2-4

Sputnik 22/09/2015

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Representatives of the Syrian opposition will hold a fresh round of consultations in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on October 2-4, a prominent opposition politican said Tuesday.
“During a meeting with [Kazakh] President [Nursultan] Nazarbayev, I asked him about hosting a new round of talks in Astana,” Randa Kassis, head of the Movement of the Pluralistic Society, told Sputnik.
“The Astana-2 conference will take place on October 2-4,” Kassis said.
According to Kassis, the conference will be mediated by Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Askar Musinov and director of the French Center for Political and Foreign Affairs Fabien Baussart.

Source: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150922/1027354374.html#ixzz3sVdzV9YD


ERROR: File not found
Second round of Syrian opposition talks to be held in Astana

Tengri News 09/06/2015

The second round of consultations between representatives of the Syrian opposition will be held in Kazakhstan’s Astana in mid-September,Tengrinews reports citing RIA Novosti with a reference to the leader of the Movement for the Pluralistic Society Randa Kassis.
“These are not negotiations between the opposition and the regime. The dialogue in Astana involves only the opposition. I hope that many (political) forces will attend the Astana-2, including the National Coalition,” Cassis said.
When asked whether representatives of the official Damascus would be invited, she replied: “No, they will not be invited.”
The Syrian opposition held the first round of talks in the capital of Kazakhstan on May 25-27. Following the meeting, representatives of various opposition groups of Syria emphasized the need for a united front against terrorism. In the text of the final declaration they called for withdrawal of all the militants who are not citizens of Syria and restoration of the country’s army.
Additionally, after the meeting in Astana, the Syrian opposition expressed hope that Kazakhstan would again provide a platform for negotiations.

Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

Source: https://en.tengrinews.kz/politics_sub/second-round-of-syrian-opposition-talks-to-be-held-in-astana-260667/


ERROR: File not found
Astana Hosts Syrian Opposition Meeting In Search of Peace

Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan 03/06/2015

The majority of 30 Syrian opposition figures who met in Astana on May 25-27 issued a joint statement titled “Astana Declaration for a Political Solution in Syria,” in which they appealed for a continued search for political solutions to the lasting conflict in their country. They also thanked the Kazakh government for providing a favorable setting for the latest round of negotiations and expressed hope that the platform in Astana could develop into a permanent and effective mechanism in the process of elaborating a political solution for Syria.
The meeting of Syrian opposition groups was called in Astana following Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s acceptance of their proposal from earlier this spring that the country help in mediating talks on the civil war in Syria.
According to the document, the participants confirm “their aspirations, shared by all Syrians, to create a state of national unity, which is based on freedom and equality of citizens.” They also expressed a view that Syria would become a state of all the Syrian people without any division and discrimination on religious or ethnic basis, and that loyalty to the state is a basic prerequisite for building fair society for all Syrians. To allow Syria to remain a unified nation-state, radical change is needed to decentralize power and increase democratic pluralism, without favoring any religious or ethnic group.
At the joint press conference, Syrian opposition groups expressed their willingness to hold another round of negotiations in Kazakhstan’s capital. In particular, President of the Movement for a Pluralistic Society Randa Kassis outlined that “if we have the consent of Kazakhstan and President Nazarbayev invites us once again, we would like to return to Astana and expand the ranks of opposition to gather here.”


ERROR: File not found
Syrian Opposition Meeting in Astana Makes Tentative Headway in Finding Way Forward for Peace Process

Astana Times 29/05/2015

ASTANA – The majority of 30 Syrian opposition figures who met in Astana on May 25-27 issued a joint statement on May 28, in which they appealed for a continued search for political solutions to the lasting conflict in their country. They also thanked the Kazakh government for providing a favourable setting for the latest round of negotiations and expressed hope that the platform in Astana could develop into a permanent and effective mechanism in the process of elaborating a political solution for Syria.
The meeting of Syrian opposition groups was called in Astana following Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s acceptance of their proposal from earlier this spring that the country help in mediating talks on the civil war in Syria. Following intense and complicated negotiations, which were held at Rixos President Astana Hotel, their participants issued a joint statement in Arabic on May 28 titled “Astana Declaration for a Political Solution in Syria.”
The document, among other things, named the Geneva-I principles formulated at the conference in Switzerland on June 30, 2012, as the “basis for any political settlement,” while stressing that the results of two rounds of negotiations in Moscow must be “taken into account.” The document specifically mentions the need for “a gradual political transition of power through a provisional government of national accord,” and deplores all forms of violence against civilians and “all kinds of terrorist activities practiced by extremist groups.” It also highlights the need to bring to responsibility all those guilty of war crimes in the ongoing combat.
The participants in negotiations confirm their aspirations, shared by all Syrians, to create of a state of national unity, which is based on freedom and equality of citizens,” the document said. “They expressed a view that Syria would become a state of all the Syrian people without any division and discrimination on religious or ethnic basis, and that loyalty to the state is a basic prerequisite for building fair society for all Syrians.Toallow Syria to remain a unified nation-state, radical change is needed to decentralise power and increase democratic pluralism, without favouring any religious or ethnic group.”
“The participants expressed the need for the withdrawal of all foreign insurgents involved in the conflict and the restoration of the army in accordance with the principles of the defence of the country,” the documents further said. “They underlined the need for the fulfillment of all international resolutions on the termination of funding and support for terrorism.”
The participants further called for the release of all political prisoners and abductees. “On the issue of refugees they agreed on the need for specific regulatory steps for their return to the country and the presence of civil society organisations and international organisations in the affected areas to provide immediate humanitarian aid,” the statement noted.
Three prominent delegates held a joint press conference to present the document to the media and to share their assessments of the talks. These included Syrian activist and human rights defender Ammar Abdulhamid, President of the Movement for a Pluralistic Society Randa Kassis and senior representative of the Syrian Kurds community Sarbast Nabi.
The speakers commended the discussions in Astana as fruitful and praised the agreement, reached by about two thirds majority of the participants of the talks, on particular principles of settlement of the Syrian conflict.
“For the first time, we reached concrete agreements and agreed on a number of principles in search of peace in Syria,” Nabi told about 50 reporters assembled for the press conference at Rixos.
According to Abdulhamid, “this meeting may evolve into a wider platform [for dialogue]. In the future, we want to engage other opposition groups in this dialogue.” He characterised the talks in Astana as “an attempt at coordinating the stances of the opposition.”
“If we have the consent of Kazakhstan [and] President [Nursultan] Nazarbayev invites us once again, we would like to return to Astana and expand the ranks of opposition to gather here,” Kassis said, opening the door for agreeing on conditions for continuing the intra-Syrian dialogue in the Kazakh capital.
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov held a press conference in the same room immediately following the one by the Syrians, where he welcomed the effort by the Syrian opposition groups to search for a common ground. He said that before the talks, Kazakh diplomats had established contact with all potential participants of the talks, including the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces led by Khaled Khoja, arguably the largest alliance of secular opponents to the government of Bashar al-Assad.
“Our platform was not closed to anyone. We have been in direct contact with Syrian authorities, and I personally talked with the Syrian foreign minister, Mr Mualim,” Idrissov said.
He further stressed that he would discuss the outcomes of talks in Astana with the United Nations special envoy on Syria Staffan di Mistura. He added that he personally and other Kazakh diplomats had consulted on issues related to the talks with their Russian, U.S., Saudi, Turkish and Jordanian counterparts and will do so again following the talks.
Earlier, Kassis reportedly hailed Kazakhstan’s good relations with all external stakeholder-states in the Syrian crisis, along with its lack of direct interest in particular aspects of a potential peaceful settlement in Syria, as important factors in choosing Astana as a site for the opposition talks.
“We are not so naïve as to believe that one or two or even three meetings in Astana will solve the most complicated conflict. It is a small contribution to common efforts,” Idrissov said. He agreed that the talks in Geneva and Moscow are key dialogue platforms in the ongoing international debate on Syria.
“Today, the whole world is anxiously watching the events taking place in the Middle East,” the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said in its announcement before the talks. “The situation in Syria has become one of the most serious crises in the world and has gone beyond a regional problem. In order to resolve the situation in the country, efforts must be consolidated. Kazakhstan supports the ongoing efforts of all interested parties inside and outside Syria under the auspices of the United Nations which are aimed at the early ending of violence and bloodshed, overcoming the acute humanitarian disaster, as well as determining the political future of the country through dialogue and reconciliation.”
According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, it agreed to host the meeting out of “concerns over humanitarian situation [in Syria, and] a firm position that a resolution to the conflict is only possible through peaceful means and only by the Syrians themselves.”
“The very fact of holding Syrian opposition talks in Astana demonstrates the level of trust that Kazakhstan enjoys as a neutral state interested in a peaceful settlement in Syria,” said Timur Shaimergenov, deputy director of the Astana-based Library of the First President – Leader of the Nation, in a May 25 comment to this newspaper. “Being four years old now, the conflict in that country does not seem any closer to the end. Evidently, the key problem lies in the lack of understanding and the resulting fight within the Syrian elites. This favours long-term destabilisation and the exploitation of the conflict by third parties,” he argued.
According to the Kazakh analyst, “Today, it is important that there is an understanding between the Syrian elites that reaching peace in their land is squarely in their own hands. … Let us hope that the successful experience of the talks over Iran’s nuclear programme in Kazakhstan two years ago can serve as inspiration for the beginning of a proper intra-Syrian dialogue.”

Source: https://astanatimes.com/2015/05/syrian-opposition-meeting-in-astana-makes-tentative-headway-in-finding-way-forward-for-peace-process/


ERROR: File not found