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Day 2 of Astana talks to focus on separation of terrorists

15 March 2017 [11:46] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Kamila Aliyeva

In Astana, the second day of negotiations on Syrian crisis has started with a bilateral meeting between the delegations of Iran and Russia in Rixos hotel, RIA Novosti reported.

The main topic of the second day of the Astana talks on Syria will become the separation of positions of terrorists and moderate opposition in the country, according to the head of government’s delegation Bashar Jaafari, Sputnik reported.

When asked whether the maps with locations of positions of terrorists and moderate opposition were ready, Jaafari stated the topic is to be discussed on March 15.

“We shall discuss it, this is the main issue for negotiations,” Jaafari said.

The Syrian regime and key players gathered in Kazakh capital once again on March 14-15 to discuss the situation in Syria, however, the opposition's refusal to attend the meeting at first became a blow to any hope of progress in these talks.

The agenda of the third round of the talks in Astana presupposed that the delegations of the Syrian authorities and armed opposition as well as the international mediators - Russia, Turkey and Iran - would focus on the map of terrorists' presence in the war-torn state.

Meanwhile, Director of the Asia and Africa Department of the Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry Aydarbek Tumatov said that the third round of the Astana talks will be extended for one day in connection with the planned arrival of the delegation of the armed opposition of Syria.

Tumatov told the agency that a delegation of Syrian armed opposition from seven people representing the Northern and Southern fronts will arrive in Astana for talks on Wednesday evening.

"Tomorrow, on March 16, the negotiations will resume with the military component, which I think is of high importance,” Tumatov said.

The first round of intra-Syrian Astana talks brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran took place on January 23-24 and gathered together representatives of the Syrian armed opposition and government for the first time. The parties agreed to create a trilateral mechanism to monitor the ceasefire in Syria, which was established on December 30.

The second round of Astana talks took place on February 15-16 and resulted in the agreement of the participants to set up a ceasefire monitoring group, encompassing Iran, Russia and Turkey, that would report to the United Nations.

The latest, fourth round of Geneva talks under the auspices of the United Nations concluded on March 3, with the parties agreeing on a number of separate "baskets" to be addressed during the next rounds, including the issues of governance, constitution, elections and counterterrorism.

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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