"The negotiations on the format of the Astana meeting are not completed yet, the work is at full swing that is why it is irrelevant to make statements about its participants. We want to remind that three states – Russia, Iran and Turkey – are guarantors of the signed ceasefire agreements that are basis for the meeting in Astana. Therefore such statements must also be collective," the source said, referring to the reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Russia and Turkey had decided to invite the United States to take part in the Astana talks.
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.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh), which is banned in a range of countries, including Russia.