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Kazakh FM Says Syria Talks In Nur-Sultan Likely Postponed

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Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi says it’s unlikely the so-called “Astana format” peace talks on Syria in the Kazakh capital will happen this month as planned.

Tileuberdi told journalists on March 10 that it was not clear when exactly the next round of talks will be held.

A suggestion to hold the talks in March “was made in December, but now the situation has changed…. It is very likely that the talks will not be held” in March, Tileuberdi said, without giving any other details.

Last month, the Turkish president’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said that the next round of talks in the Astana format will be held in March.

In early March, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Shakhrat Nuryshev said that the Central Asian country had introduced limitations for entrance to the country for representatives of countries facing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The Astana format talks have been held in the Kazakh capital since 2015 in parallel with UN-sponsored negotiations aimed at ending the Syrian conflict, now in its ninth year.

Moscow, Tehran, and Ankara back different sides in the conflict, but have said they want a political solution that brings an end to the war, which has killed more than 370,000 people, displaced millions, and devastated historic sites across the country.

Russia and Iran have given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad crucial military backing throughout the war, which began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011. Turkey and the United States support different rebel groups

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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