Russian ambassador hails Kazakhstan’s peacekeeping efforts

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ASTANA, December 27. /TASS/. Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, has become a site where peace initiatives are generated owing to President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Alexei Borodavkin said in an interview with TASS on Thursday.

“Russia pays close attention to all ideas and suggestions coming from Kazakhstan. Moscow highly values the experience and leadership of one of the most influential world politicians in the post-Soviet space, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev,” the senior diplomat said, citing as an example Kazakhstan’s presidency of the OSCE, successful non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2017-2018.

“As for the peacekeeping efforts, Astana has indeed become a venue where peace initiatives are generated. The 11th by now round of negations on Syria in the Astana format took place here recently, in November, and major agreements were achieved,” Borodavkin said.

“This activity yields real results,” he went on to say. “Thus, information on a prisoner swap between the warrying parties in Syria was presented on the sidelines of a session of the working group on prisoner swap,” the ambassador said. Work will be continued and a new session is scheduled for February, 2019, he stressed.

He also said Kazakhstan is actively participating in the Afghan settlement, having organized a visiting mission of UN Security Council permanent representatives to Afghanistan in January 2018. “The voice of Astana has weight in the Moscow format, in the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group,” he said. “It is reckoned with and listened to,” the ambassador added.

The latest international meeting on Syria was held in Kazakhstan’s capital on November 28-29 and was attended by the Astana process guarantor states. The sides made progress on the issue of a prisoner swap. The representatives of three countries also voiced concerns over the growing number of ceasefire violations in Idlib.

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