15:57 GMT24 November 2020
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    Syrian opposition groups will meet in Astana, the capital of Central Asia’s Kazakhstan, in late September or early October, a source in the organizing committee told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The meeting, dubbed Astana 2, is the second attempt by Syria’s split opposition to get over their differences after the eruption of a civil war in the country four years ago.

    "The tentative date for the conference is late September, September 30, or possibly October 1," the source said. "Fifty representatives from different opposition unions have already confirmed their attendance, including those who stayed out of Astana 1."

    The previous round of Syrian reconciliation talks was held in Astana in late May. At the end of the talks, most of participants signed off on a final document calling for withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from the war-torn country and stressing the need to form a unified front to counter terrorism.

    Syria has been in the state of a civil war since the 2011 political crisis. Government forces have been fighting on multiple fronts against opposition forces and numerous extremist militant groups, including the Islamic State and the Nusra Front.

    Some 11 million people have been displaced in the ongoing violence, according to UN statistics, leading to a surge in refugees and asylum-seekers from the country heading for Europe.


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