Third round of talks on Syria kicks off in Astana

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SHAFAQNA – Third round of talks on Syria started on Thursday in Kazakh capital, Astana, attended by representatives from the Syrian government, the armed opposition groups as well as Iranian, Russian and Turkish delegations.

While Kazakhstan is hosting the talks, delegates from Jordan and the United States are also present in the meeting as observers.

Director of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s Department of Asian and African Affairs Aidarbek Tumatov told reporters that creation of a taskforce to discuss Syria’s new Constitution is on the agenda in this rounds of talks.

Tumatov referred to the presence of nine Syrian armed groups in the meeting and said that they will do their best to convince the Syrian government and the opposition to engage in direct talks.

According to the Russian Embassy officials in Astana, Iran, Russia and Turkey will ink the final statement of this round of talks.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari is heading the Iranian delegation in the talks.

Jaberi Ansari has held separate meetings with Syrian and Russian delegations.

The first round of talks between the Syrian government and the armed opposition groups were held in the Kazakh capital on Jan 23-24 in the presence of the Iranian, Russian and Turkish representatives.

Iran, Russia and Turkey are the initiators of the Dec 30 ceasefire in Syria. The three countries have also planned the Jan 2017 Astana talks.

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