DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:15 P.M.) – Kyrgyzstan holds negotiations with Russia on sending troops to Syria, a source within Kyrgyz security structures told Interfax agency on Thursday.
“No decision has beed made yet. Our [officials] are still in negotiations on sending the military [to Syria]. It is unlikely that such a decision is going to be made before the presidential elections,” said the source.
Kyrgyzstan’s presidential elections are to take place on October 15.
At the same time, the question of deploying Kyrgyz peacekeepers to Syria has not been raised during the official visit of the president of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambaev, to Russia which started on June 19 and is set to finish on June 24, a source within Kyrgyzstan’s delegation told Interfax.
“Nothing has been said about that, I did not hear anything,” he said.
Earlier, Turkish Haberturk TV channel quoted Turkish presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, as saying that Turkey and Russia may deploy their military to Idlib province in northwestern Syria as a part of the agreement on creation of de-escalation zones in the country, and that Russia has offered to deploy military contingents from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to Syria.
Commenting on these reports, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, denied information on any negotiations about deploying country’s military to Syria.
“Kazakhstan does not hold negotiations with anybody on military deployment in Syria,” he told journalists on Friday in Astana.
“The question of implementation of four de-escalation zones in Syria is within the competence of guarantor states [Russia, Turkey and Iran],” he added.
Both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are members of Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military block that also includes Tajikistan, Belarus and Armenia.