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Sixth round of talks on Syria kicks off in Astana

14 September 2017 [13:55] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

The sixth round of Astana talks on Syrian issue with all parties involved kicked off on September 14.

Turkey, Russia and Iran are the initiators of the Astana talks.

All participants, including 24 representatives of the armed opposition, of the Astana-6 meeting have arrived to attend the talks on Syria, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported.

The Russian delegation is headed by President's special representative for the Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentiev, while Turkish and Iranian delegations are led by Deputy Foreign Ministers Sedat Onal and Jaber Ansari, respectively.

Special representative of the UN Secretary General for Syria Staffan De Mistura has also arrived.

 The U.S. observer delegation is headed by David Satterfield, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East settlement while the Jordanian delegation is led by advisor to the Foreign Ministry on political issues Nawaf Ousfi. The twenty-four authorized representatives of the Syrian armed opposition representing its various groups have also arrived, the Kaz Ministry reported.

Negotiations on September 14-15 are expected to take place in accordance with the previously agreed agenda and the results of expert consultations that were held in Astana on the eve.

The agenda includes consideration of a number of documents regulating the activity of the control forces of de-escalation as well as continuation of work on coordinating the composition of the control forces in Idlib.

The participants are expected to approve maps of de-escalation zones in the provinces of Idlib, Homs and East Gut, draft regulations on the Coordination Center, the working group on the release of detainees/hostages, the transfer of dead bodies and the search for missing persons, according to the guarantor countries.

To date, five rounds of negotiations on the ongoing Syrian conflict were held in Astana.

Guarantors of a nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime - Russia, Turkey and Iran - had agreed on May 4 in the Kazakh capital, Astana, to establish "de-escalation zones" in war-torn Syria. The zones would cover the city of Idlib and certain parts of Latakia, Homs, Aleppo and Hama as well as Damascus, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Quneitra.

Syria has been locked in civil war since March 2011. According to UN's special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, around 400,000 people have died in the conflict while half the population has been driven from their homes.


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