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Damascus, Syrian opposition yet to confirm participation in Astana meeting

10 March 2017 [12:27] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Kamila Aliyeva

The government and the armed opposition of Syria have not yet confirmed their participation in the third international high-level meeting within the framework of the Astana process, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported.

The next high-level meeting on Syria will be held in the capital of Kazakhstan on March 14-15, 2017.

High-ranking delegations from Russia, Turkey and Iran will take part in the talks, invitations will be sent to representatives of the United Nations, the United States and Jordan.

Preliminary consultations are scheduled to take place on March 14, while on March 15 the meeting’s participants will hold a plenary meeting.

"Kazakhstan is ready to continue to make its feasible contribution to international efforts to resolve the situation in Syria and to seek a political solution for the intra-Syrian conflict," the Ministry said.

The recent round of talks in Geneva that was supposed to discuss political solution to Syrian conflict ended with no tangible result as it was turned into a polemic between UN envoy Staffan de Mistura and the Syrian opposition, and then between de Mistura and the Syrian regime’s delegation.

Two rounds of high-level international talks on Syria were held on January 23-24 and February 15-16, while on February 6, a technical meeting of experts took place in Astana. The meetings resulted in an agreement on establishing a joint group on monitoring the Syrian ceasefire that laid groundwork for political discussions during the Geneva talks in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

 Many experts assessed the agreement between Russia, Turkey, and Iran on the establishment of a tripartite mechanism as a step to a political solution which might end the six-year war.

Armed conflict continues in Syria since March 2011. Government troops are confronted by militants of different armed rebel groups. Russia has begun airstrikes on terrorist facilities in Syria since 30 September 2015. The Russian military involvement follows an official request from President Bashar Assad to President Vladimir Putin.

The UN has repeatedly tried and failed to end the Syrian conflict, which has killed 300,000 and displaced 11 million since it began five years ago.


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