Kazakhstan: New Round of Astana Talks to Take Place Thursday
Kazakhstan said on Wednesday that the eighth round of peace talks on Syria are to take place in Astana on Thursday.
Bilateral and trilateral meetings between the participating sides are scheduled on Thursday while the general session will take place on Friday, Kazakh foreign ministry press office announced on Wednesday.
In addition to delegations representing the Syrian government and the foreign-backed opposition, delegations from guarantor states, Iran, Russia and Turkey, along with the UN and Jordan are to attend the talks.
The ministry also said that delegations of the guarantor states, have started to arrive in the Kazakh capital on Wednesday.
The seventh round of the Astana talks took place last October. The discussions have brought representatives from Syria’s warring sides to the negotiating table in a bid to end the foreign-backed militancy in the Arab country, which broke out in March 2011.
Seven rounds of the negotiations took place on January 23-24, February 15-16, March 14-15, May 3-4, July 4-5, September 14-15 and October 30-31.
The fourth round of the Astana discussions in May resulted in an agreement on four de-escalation zones across Syria, which cover the provinces of Idlib and Homs as well as the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus and Syria’s southern border with Jordan.
The parties to the talks used the fifth round of the process to build up on the results of the May agreements.