11th round of Syria talks set for this November

By Merve Aydogan

ANKARA (AA) – The 11th round of Syria talks in the Astana format are set for this November in Geneva, following the start of talks to change the constitution in September, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Efforts to establish a constitutional committee were addressed both at the meeting on Monday and Tuesday in Sochi, Russia and during consultations on the meeting’s margins with the special UN envoy for Syria, said the ministry in a statement.

During the tenth round of high-level meetings on Syria in Sochi, guarantor countries discussed "developments on the ground and ongoing efforts for a political solution to the Syrian conflict."

"Within this framework, we emphasized that the Idlib de-escalation area is a main component of the Astana agreement and that its functionality must be preserved," it stated.

Turkey also underscored the "importance of opposing the separatist agendas of groups that pose a threat to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the national security of neighboring countries."

"At the meeting, the importance of creating necessary conditions for the voluntary and safe return of internally displaced people in Syria and refugees was emphasized, and discussions concerning steps that can be taken to this end have begun," said the statement.

On a working group to release detainees, the statement said the group made progress on the "realization of the pilot project with the conflicting sides in Syria for the mutual release of detainees."