Fifth round of Syrian peace talks begins in Astana

Delegations from the Syrian regime and the opposition are in Astana for a new round of peace talks. The initiative is led by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

Delegations from Jordan and the US, and the UN Special Representative for Syria Staffan de Mistura will also attend the talks as observers.

The fifth round of peace talks to find a political solution for the Syrian conflict began in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said.

Besides the three guarantor countries, Russia, Turkey, Iran, delegations from Jordan and the US, and the UN Special Representative for Syria Staffan de Mistura will also attend the talks as observers.

"All the delegations that plan to participate in this important stage of the talks have arrived," Abdrakhmanov was quoted as saying by national news agency Kazinform.

TRT World's Iolo ap Dafydd reports from Astana.

Abdrakhmanov said nine representatives of armed opposition groups have gathered for indirect negotiations with delegates representing the Syrian regime.

He said agenda items include the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria, which was signed by the guarantor countries during a meeting in Astana on May 4.

Following the December 30 ceasefire, the first round of Astana talks were held on January 23-24, brokered by Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russia and Iran, which support Bashar al Assad's regime.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies