14:13 GMT05 August 2020
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    Syrian Peace Talks in Astana (173)
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    The US will be represented on the ambassador level at the Astana talks on Syria, 15 Syrian opposition groups will also take part, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko said Monday.

    ASTANA (Sputnik) — Astana does not consider it as negative that the United States are represented on the ambassador level at the Astana talks on Syria, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko said Monday.

    "I do not think that it is worth looking for some negativity in this fact," Vassilenko said at a briefing.

    According to Vassilenko, ex-US State Secretary John Kerry said in early January that Washington supported holding intra-Syrian talks in Astana.

    The United States is not a guarantor of Syrian ceasefire agreement, the deputy foreign minister added.

    Moreover, some 15 Syrian opposition groups are represented at Astana talks on the Syrian settlement, however there is no formal head of the opposition delegation, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko said Monday.

    “A total of 15 Syrian opposition groups are present here. These are the organizations which have supported the cessation of hostilities reached in late December under the mediation of Russia and Turkey. As far as I understood, Syrian armed opposition chose no formal head of the delegation … no individual has an authority to represent the entire Syrian opposition. They represent themselves and coordinate their positions,” Vassilenko said.

    The delegation of the Syrian armed opposition will be seated next to Turkish delegation, while the delegation of the Syrian government will take the places next to the Iranian representatives at the the upcoming intra-Syrian talks in Astana, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    According to the organizers of the talks, the Russian delegation will be located near the delegation of Kazakhstan and Iran, while the representatives of the United Nations and the United States will be seating at the opposite side of the negotiation table.

    The talks on the Syrian ceasefire are expected to begin in less than an hour. The participants of the intra-Syria talks in Astana are working on the final draft of the agreement on the Syrian ceasefire, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko said Monday.

    "They are working on that," Vassilenko said at a briefing.

    Astana talks are expected to last until the end of Tuesday, but they may be finished earlier, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko said Monday.

    "It will depend on the way the talks develop, initially we scheduled them until the end of tomorrow. If they finish earlier, we are ready to finish them earlier and organize a press conference," Vassilenko said at a briefing.

    The talks are expected to begin at 7:00 GMT in the capital of Kazakhstan. According to country’s foreign ministry, the talks are expected to conclude in 24 hours.

    Syrian Peace Talks in Astana (173)


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