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    A man walks past damaged buildings in the rebel held besieged city of Douma, in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria January 8, 2017

    Syrian Opposition Group Leader Has High Hopes for Astana Talks

    © REUTERS / Bassam Khabieh
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    Syria’s Tomorrow opposition group leader expected that intra-Syrian consultations in Kazakh capital, Astana, would create a platform for the political resolution of the crisis.

    CAIRO (Sputnik) — The head of moderate Syrian opposition movement Ahmad Jarba held a meeting with Russian Ambassador to Egypt Sergei Kirpichenko on Sunday, during which the Russian diplomat informed about the preparation to the Astana talks.

    "Jarba expressed a hope that the conference would create a favourable climate for a political resolution, based on the international decisions on Syria and would lead to Geneva talks, which would put to an end the bloody conflict," the statement of the organization said.

    On December 17, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed in a phone call the possibility of a meeting between the Syrian conflicting parties in Astana. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev supported the initiative and expressed readiness to provide a platform for such talks in the Kazakh capital.

    The negotiations are going to start on January 23. The talks are expected to be followed by a new round of negotiations on Syrian peace in Geneva on February 8.

    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including the Islamic State (Daesh), which is banned in a wide range of countries.

    Related:

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    Syrian Cairo Opposition to Meet in Egypt After Astana, Geneva Peace Talks
    US Has Not Received Any Formal Invitation to Intra-Syrian Talks in Astana
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    Kazakhstan, Syria, Astana
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