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Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Astana Ready To Host Next Round Of Syria Peace Talks

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The next round of Syria peace talks will be held in the Kazakh capital of Astana on June 12-13, Russian news agencies report, citing the Syrian ambassador to Moscow.

“We have received an invitation to participate in talks in Astana, which will take place on the 12th-13th of this month,” RIA quoted Ambassador Riad Haddad as saying.

However, the opposition has not decided yet on its participation, Yahya al-Aridi told TASS on June 3.

“The decision about our participation is not in place yet,” Aridi said.

At the end of the previous round of talks in Astana last month, Russia, Turkey, and Iran on May 4 signed a memorandum calling for the establishment of safe zones in Syria, but some Syrian opposition representatives walked out in protest.

The memorandum called for setting up four “de-escalation zones” in various parts of Syria, where forces of President Bashar al-Assad’s government are fighting rebels in a war that has killed some 400,000 people since 2011.

Part of the Syrian opposition delegation left the talks in protest at Iran’s signing the memorandum. Iran and Russia have backed the Syrian government throughout the war, while Turkey supports its opponents.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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