23:12 GMT +319 April 2019
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    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addresses a press conference during the foreign ministers' meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Hamburg, northern Germany, on December 9, 2016.

    Syria Talks in Astana Could Include US, Jaysh Islam Leader - Lavrov

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    The US may join the Astana talks on Syria next week due to the extended number of participants, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The invitation extended to participants of intra-Syrian negotiations in Kazakhstan next week allow for the United States to join the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday, noting that the leader of the militant group Jaysh Islam could also take part.

    "Frankly, the form of the extended invitations allows the participation of all those who have been mentioned in public statements, including representatives of the US," Lavrov said.

    Speaking alongside Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Lavrov noted that the leader of the Jaysh Islam UN-designated terrorist group could also take part in the Astana talks on Monday, January 23.

    "Given the fact that, along with other opposition groups, Jaysh al-Islam has expressed readiness to sign a ceasefire agreement and to enter into negotiations with the Syrian government, of course we support this approach," Lavrov said.

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