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Turkey to participate in Astana talks as guarantor country

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İbrahim Kalın, the spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said on Monday that Turkey would participate in the Syria talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana as a guarantor country.

“The Astana process will be in addition to the United Nations process. Turkey, Russia and İran will be guarantor countries, but the Syrian regime and opposition will negotiate,” said Kalın during a press conference in Ankara, adding that work on the participants and the date was under way.

After meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Monday that “Kazakhstan is ready to host all sides for talks in Astana.”

Saying that 44,000 people had been evacuated in three weeks from the Syrian city of Aleppo, which was retaken by Bashar Al Assad regime forces supported by Russia and Iran, Kalın also reiterated that Turkey has been diplomatically pushing to extend the cease-fire in Aleppo to the whole of Syria.

Regarding the Euphrates Shield operation in which Turkey sent troops into Syria on Aug. 24 against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Kalın said a 1,900-square-kilometer area has been captured from ISIL.

Kalın called on the international coalition to supply air support to Turkish forces in fighting to capture al-Bab from ISIL. Kalın also underlined that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) forces should quickly leave the city of Menbij.

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