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    Next Syria Talks in Astana Depend on Guarantors - Kazakh Foreign Minister

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    The next round of intra-Syrian talks in Astana depends on guarantor countries, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said Monday.

    ASTANA (Sputnik) — The format and agenda of the next round of intra-Syrian talks in Astana this week depend on guarantor countries, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said Monday.

    "The format, agenda depend on the views of the guarantor countries Russia, Turkey, Iran. They determine the format of the meeting, the agenda," Abdrakhmanov told Kazakh lawmakers during a government hour session.

    He said that delegates to the talks began arriving in the Kazakh capital for the third round of negotiations scheduled for Tuesday-Wednesday on Monday.

    Moreover, Russia has confirmed its participation at intra-Syrian talks in Astana this week in addition to deputy foreign ministers from Iran and Turkey, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said Monday.

    "We received an official message from Russia, the Russian president's special envoy, the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative will take part," Abdrakhmanov told Kazakh lawmakers during a government hour session.

    The third round of settlement talks on the Syrian conflict are scheduled to be held in the Kazakh capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, the country's foreign ministry said last week.

    "The deputies foreign affairs ministers of Turkey and Iran have announced their participation. We expect confirmation from other participants of the meeting," Abdrahkmanov added.

    The first round of intra-Syrian Astana talks brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran took place on January 23-24 and gathered together representatives of the Syrian armed opposition and government for the first time. The parties agreed to create a trilateral mechanism to monitor the ceasefire in Syria, which was established on December 30.

    The second round of Astana talks took place on February 15-16 and resulted in the agreement of the participants to set up a ceasefire monitoring group, encompassing Iran, Russia and Turkey, that would report to the United Nations.

    On March 11, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recognized that the ceasefire agreement achieved during talks in Astana made possible the continuation of the intra-Syrian political dialogue in Geneva.

    The latest, fourth round of Geneva talks under the auspices of the United Nations concluded on March 3, with the parties agreeing on a number of separate "baskets" to be addressed during the next rounds, including the issues of governance, constitution, elections and counterterrorism.

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    intra-Syrian talks, Astana meeting, guarantor, participation, lawmakers, talks, Kazakh Foreign Ministry, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkey, Astana
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