Peace talks on Syria begin in Astana

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DUSHANBE, 23.01.2017. /NIAT Khovar/. Talks on the Syrian crisis have begun in Kazakhstan's capital of Astana. The meeting is being held at the Rixos Hotel.

The issues topping the meeting's agenda include strengthening the ceasefire and advancing the negotiation process in order to hold consultations in Geneva on February 8.

On the whole, seven delegations are participating in the meeting including those of the Syrian government and the armed opposition, as well as Russia, Turkey and Iran, who act as guarantors of the ceasefire agreements adopted on December 29. Besides, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura's team is also taking part in the talks while US Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol acts as an observer.

The talks are scheduled to be completed on January 24 at 13:00 local time (7:00 GMT) while at 14:00 local time (8:00 GMT) the final press conference is expected to start. However, the organizers and the participants do not rule out that, if necessary, the talks may be prolonged.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan