Syria talks in Astana aim for lasting ceasefires

Representatives of government and opposition meet again in Kazakh capital with focus primarily on de-escalation zones.


    Representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups are meeting once again in the capital of Kazakhstan.

    Thursday's sixth round of talks in Astana - brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran - is aimed at implementing lasting cease-fires in so-called de-escalation zones in Syria.

    Syrians see different picture on the ground

    Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, told Russian state media that delegations from Russia, Iran, and Turkey, with the attendance of experts from the US, Jordan and the UN would discuss "the establishment of a de-escalation zone in Idlib".

    "Astana is exactly the additional tool which helped groups to reach some technical agreement on the ground which basically lay the ground to further negotiations," Alexey Khlebnikov, of the Russian International Affairs Council, told Al Jazeera.

    Speaking from Astana, Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford said the focus would primarily be on the de-escalation zones.

    However, he said, "the complexities of the situation on the ground in Syria and the lack of agreement over which countries could potentially offer troops to monitor these zones show just how difficult reaching consensus here could be".


    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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