UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen took part in the latest round of Syria peace talks, which Russia sees as a sign that he is willing to engage with the three guarantors of the talks: Russia, Iran and Turkey. In turn, Russia made assurances that it supports UN-sponsored peace and humanitarian efforts in Syria.
The gathering was held April 26 in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana). It was preceded by a March 24 working meeting in Moscow between United Nations Development Program officials and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin. Vershinin had met Pedersen earlier at a March 12-14 donor conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region,” held in Brussels and organized by the European Union and the UN.