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Nothing much expected as Syria talks renew in Astana

16 May 2018

Moscow, Ankara and Tehran will hold regular consultations with United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on launching a constitutional committee, Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev said, reading out a joint statement adopted by Russia, Turkey and Iran at the ninth global meeting on Syria, held in Astana on May 14-15, TASS reprots.

Zarif said he was "seeking assurances" from the backers of the country's nuclear deal after the United States pulled out earlier this month triggering broad worldwide condemnation and fresh fears for the region.

The trio has been mediating the negotiations in the Kazakh capital since January 2017, a month after they joined efforts and brought about an all-Syria ceasefire.

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The Astana peace process has helped significantly reduce the violence in Syria through the formation of four de-escalation zones in the country, setting the stage for Syria's warring sides to focus on negotiations on the political future of their homeland.

The global meeting on the settlement in Syria will be held in Astana on May 14-15.

The statement affirmed the continuation of combating terrorism in Syria until completely eliminating ISIL, Nusra Front and all other terrorist organizations affiliated to al-Qaeda or ISIL.

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Chaired by former premier of the Syrian interim government, Ahmed Tuma, the opposition delegation comprised of 24 people representing a few select factions backed by Turkey.

Representatives of the Syrian government and some rebel groups attend the sessions, and the United Nations and Jordan generally send observers.

United States representatives will not take part in the global meeting in Astana on the settlement in Syria, Kazakh Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anuar Zhainakov told reporters on Monday, TASS reports.

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Nothing much expected as Syria talks renew in Astana