8th round Syria peace talks commences in Kazakhstan

8th round Syria peace talks commences in Kazakhstan
Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:44:47

The eighth round of peace talks aimed at ending the Syria conflict began Thursday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

(AA) -- Astana hosts another two-day meeting attended by representatives from Russia, Turkey and Iran, which are the guarantor states that brokered a cease-fire in Syria in December 2016, leading to the Astana peace talks that are running parallel to Geneva talks.

The Turkish delegation is chaired by the deputy undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Sedat Onal, while Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian president's special envoy for Syria, leads his delegation, and Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari heads Iran’s.

The bilateral talks between the delegations started at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. 

Representatives of the Syrian government, armed opposition groups, as well as delegations from the UN, Jordan and the U.S. also participate in the talks.

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry announced that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura would attend the meeting on Friday.

The talks are also to address the release of captives and hostages, the clearing of landmines, the inspection of cease-fire violations in the de-escalation zones and the preparation for a Syrian National Dialogue Congress, which is expected to be held in Russia's coastal city of Sochi in the near future.

Thursday's bilateral and multilateral talks will take place in a closed-door format. A plenary meeting is scheduled for Friday.

(File Photo)

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