Syrian opposition groups present at Astana talks

Author

17 February, 2017

Last January, Russia, Turkey and Iran sponsored the first direct negotiation between armed formations and the Syrian government in this city and agreed to create a tripartite ceasefire control mechanism.

The Russian-proposed draft of the Syrian constitution, presented at the Astana I talks last month, falls short of mentioning federalism as a system of governance in the war-torn country, but hints at larger cultural and administrative freedoms within a decentralized Syria.

The rebel delegation said in an emailed statement on Wednesday that it would send a group of "technical experts" to discuss ways of reinforcing a ceasefire.

Yesterday, the spokesman for the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, Anuar Zhainakov, announced that all the parties involved in the Syrian dispute would be present in the negotiations.

A round of Syria peace talks scheduled to begin Wednesday in Kazakhstan has been delayed until Thursday.

"They will try to obtain such surrender, which is why the talks will take place".

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"The [armed] factions have chosen a delegation of five people headed by Free Syrian Army Chief of Staff, brigadier general Ahmed Berry", Naqrash told The New Arab.

"The government is ready.as part of efforts towards the next meeting in Astana to exchange detainees for men, women and children - civilians and soldiers - kidnapped by terrorists", SANA said, referring to the rebels.

United Nations envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura said he would not participate personally in the latest Astana meeting but that his office would be represented by a "technical team".

Russia, which backs President Bashar al-Assad's government, and Turkey, which supports the rebels, are brokering the talks.

The latest round of discussions will focus mostly on bolstering a faltering six-week truce with negotiations over any political settlement expected to wait for 23 February talks in Geneva.

During the meeting with representatives of both delegations in attendance, the two sides exchanged views on the latest developments on Astana talks process and the agenda for the second round of the global meeting aimed at finding a political solution for the Syrian crisis.


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