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Kazakhstan: Second day of Syria peace talks in Astana

24th Jan 2017
Kazakhstan: Second day of Syria peace talks in Astana

By Mohamad Misto

 

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AA): Peace talks aimed at ending the Syria conflict entered the second day on Tuesday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

The talks, which will focus on extending the cease-fire that came into effect on Dec. 30, 2016, have been brokered by Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russia and Iran, who support Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

The participants will discuss violations of the cease-fire as well as improving security within Syria in a bid to pave the way for a political solution to the six-year conflict.

The representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, Russia, Turkey, Iran, the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol gathered at the Rixos Hotel at around 10.30 a.m. local time (0430GMT).

Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari heads the regime side. The Turkish delegation is led by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal while Special Envoy Alexander Lavrentiev and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov lead the Russian team.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari is also participating. Groups such as Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, are excluded from the cease-fire and the talks.
The meeting is due to last until Tuesday evening, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said. However, the duration will be extended if need be.

[Photo: Representatives from the Syrian government and the opposition delegation take part in the first session of Syria peace talks at Astana’s Rixos President Hotel on January 23, 2017. Photographer: Muhabiri Aliia Raimbekova/AA]

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