14:21 GMT05 August 2020
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    Kazakhstan believes that the solution to the Syrian crisis lies in negotiations.

    ASTANA (Sputnik) — Kazakhstan believes that the solution to the Syrian crisis lies in negotiations, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said at the launching of intra-Syrian talks in Astana on Monday.

    "Today's meeting is a clear demonstration of the international community's efforts aimed at a peaceful settlement of the situation in Syria. Kazakhstan believes that the only correct way to resolve the situation in Syria should be negotiations based on mutual trust and understanding," Abdrakhmanov said in the address.

    The next few days of intra-Syrian negotiations in Kazakhstan should be used to achieve a breakthrough in resolving the Syrian crisis, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov added.

    "We are providing you with the platform and the conditions to start negotiations… The next few days are very important," Abdrakhmanov said, noting that the delegates "should use this opportunity to ensure a real breakthrough."

    Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov thanked the delegates of the armed Syrian opposition groups for finding the opportunity to attend the talks with the Syrian government that got underway in Astana on Monday.

    "To the armed opposition groups… we thank them for their participation, for their tremendous efforts in arriving here today," Abdrakhmanov said at the start of the intra-Syrian talks in the Kazakh capital.

    The leader of the Syrian Jaysh al-Islam militant group, Mohammed Alloush, is among the 14 armed opposition groups delegates in Astana, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    Earlier in the day, an opposition source told Sputnik that the groups were ready to hold direct talks with the government delegation. Representatives from Syria's government and armed opposition then sat down at the same table behind closed doors in an effort to settle the six-year conflict in the Middle Eastern country. Political opposition representatives are not taking part in the talks yet.

    The Astana talks on Syrian settlement will start in the hotel Rixos President Astana at 07:00 GMT on Monday and are expected to end at 07:00 GMT on Tuesday. The negotiations brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran will be held behind closed doors.

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