The U.S. State Department said on Saturday it will not send a delegation from Washington to attend Syrian peace talks in the Kazakh capital next week due to immediate demands of the transition.
The State Department’s acting spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, George Krol, would attend the Jan. 23 Russian-led talks as an observer.
“We welcome and appreciate Kazakhstan’s invitation to participate as an observer,” Toner said in a statement, “Given our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition, a delegation from Washington will not be attending the Astana conference.”
Toner said the U.S. was committed to a political resolution to the Syrian crisis through a Syrian-owned process.