00:36 GMT30 September 2020
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    Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow hopes that talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Kazakhstan will help restart the UN-led political process in Geneva.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow hopes that talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Kazakhstan will help restart the UN-led political process in Geneva, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

    "The meeting in Astana may become a very important step in our efforts. Firs and foremost, to strengthen the ceasefire in Syria, as well as to restart the political process in Geneva under the auspices of the UN," Middle East and North Africa Department Director Sergei Vershinin said after talks with his Chinese counterpart.

    The Syrian peace talks in Astana are said to start on January 23, followed by negotiations in Geneva on February 8.

    Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday that Russia hoped the Astana talks would push the stakeholders to renew intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

    The last Geneva talks were held in early 2016.

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