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    Lavrov Discusses Preparations for Astana Talks on Syria With Kazakh FM

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is discussing preparations for Syrian crisis settlement talks in Astana with his Kazakh counterpart Kairat Abdrakhmanov, the Russian ministry said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Astana talks are scheduled to be held next Monday, January 23, followed by an anticipated round of intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva on February 8. Earlier in the day, a political adviser to the UN special envoy for Syria told Sputnik that the Astana talks may be postponed.

    "The foreign ministers discussed… coordination in the international arena, including preparations for the international meeting on the Syrian settlement in Astana," the ministry said in a statement.

    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.

    On January 13, secretary of the Popular Diplomacy Movement Mahmoud Afandi told RIA Novosti that armed groups in northern Syria put forward an internationally-observed 10-day ceasefire as a precondition for their participation in the peace talks in Kazakhstan.


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