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US, Turkish military forces must leave Syria: Jaafari

22 December 2017 20:05

 

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations and head of the government delegation to intra-Syrian peace talks, Bashar al-Jaafari, says US and Turkish military forces should leave his conflict-plagued Arab country immediately.

He made the demand during the latest round of Syrian peace negotiations in the Kazakh capital city of Astana.

On October 13, Turkish troops travelling in a convoy of 12 armored vehicles entered northern Syria in a new military operation.

Turkish media sources said the convoy included about 80 soldiers.

Local sources said the troops were headed towards the western part of Aleppo province.

The development came after Turkish officials said they were sending troops into Syria to enforce a de-escalation zone in Idlib, which is largely controlled by the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist alliance.

The de-escalation zone forms part of an agreement reached between Turkey, Iran and Russia.

Syrian congress of national dialogue to be held in Sochi in late Jan.

Meanwhile, a joint statement released after two days of talks in Kazakhstan said delegations from Russia, Iran and Turkey, Syrian government representatives as well as a 20-member opposition team had agreed to hold a “peace congress” in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi as part of efforts to find a political solution to the six-year-old Syrian conflict.

Bashar al-Jaafari (L), Syrian chief negotiator and Ambassador of the Permanent Representative Mission of Syria to UN and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (R) attend negotiations during the intra-Syrian talks, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 13, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

 

The statement said the congress will be held between January 29 and 30 next year, and “all segments of the Syrian society” will participate in it.

It added “To this end three guarantors (Russia, Turkey and Iran) will hold a special preparation meeting in Sochi before the congress.”

Last week, the eighth round of UN-backed Syria peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland, ended without progress.

UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan De Mistura, described the talks as a missed opportunity.

Previous rounds of Geneva negotiations have failed to achieve results, mainly due to the opposition’s insistence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should cede power.

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