MOSCOW-- The European Union is lagging behind in the process of the Syrian crisis settlement and needs to actively join the Astana format as it complies with the strategic interests of the bloc, Jiri Mastalka, a member of the European Parliament, said Wednesday.
"The European Union is late to join the settlement of the Syrian crisis and the Middle East conflict in general. It always comes very late," Mastalka, who also serves as the vice chair of the delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, said during the Rossiya Segodnya news agency video conference in Moscow.
The peace process in Syria has already started, the EU parliamentarian added.
"In my opinion, Astana format, that solves these issues, is very sufficient. It would be good if the European Union understands that it should intensively join these negotiations, because it correlates with its interests. Eventually, the main goal is to defeat and eliminate the IS [terrorist group, outlawed in Russia]. It is very important to jointly achieve the victory," Mastalka noted.
The third round of Syria reconciliation talks in Astana will take place on March 14-15, a source close to the organization of the talks told Sputnik.
The second round of Astana talks took place on February 15-16. The talks resulted in the agreement of the participants to set up a ceasefire monitoring group comprising Iran, Russia and Turkey, that would report to the United Nations. The first round of talks in this format was held on January 23-24. PNA/Sputnik)
Source: Philippines News Agency