- Title: New round of talks on Syrian crisis opens in Kazakh capital
- Date: 4th July 2017
- Summary: ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN (JULY 4, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF MARRIOTT HOTEL, THE SYRIAN TALKS VENUE/ ENTRANCE FLAGS CARS IN FRONT OF HOTEL VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS IN LOBBY UN ENVOY ON SYRIA STAFFAN DE MISTURA TALKING TO OFFICIALS IN CORRIDOR VARIOUS OF SYRIAN GOVERNMENT CHIEF NEGOTIATOR BASHAR JA'AFARI TALKING TO OFFICIALS IN LOBBY MEDIA VARIOUS OF BASHAR JA'AFARI AND OTHER OFFICIALS WALKING ALONG CORRIDOR SYRIAN DELEGATION HEADED BY BASHAR JA'AFARI AND IRANIAN DELEGATION HEADED BY DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER HOSSEIN ANSARI JABARI TAKING SEATS AHEAD OF TALKS JA'AFARI JABARI SPEAKING SYRIAN DELEGATION MEMBERS TALKS IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 18th July 2017 11:01
- Keywords: Kazakhstan Russia Syria Syrian crisis peace talks Syrian government delegation Iran
- Location: ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN
- City: ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN
- Country: Kazakhstan
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0016OAX5JB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A new round of Russian-sponsored peace talks on Syrian crisis resolution opened on Tuesday (July 4) in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana.
Syrian government chief negotiator Bashar Ja'afari held talks with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Ansari Jabari.
UN special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura also arrived at the Marriott hotel, the talk's venue.
Russian agencies reported that representatives of the Syrian armed opposition will participate in the talks, but the make-up of the delegation remained unclear as well as who will head it.
The talks participants are expected to agree on borders of de-escalation zones in Syria.
The Syrian army said on Monday (July 3) it would suspend combat operations in southern Syria until Thursday ahead of a new round of peace talks, but rebels said the army had already violated the ceasefire by striking areas under their control.
The last round of Astana talks in May led to the signing of an agreement between Iran, Russia and Turkey to create four de-escalation zones in Syria, one of which is in the south.
But the Syrian army has in recent months escalated its strikes in Deraa in a campaign to reach the border with Jordan and wrest full control of the city.
Hostilities have expanded to the border province of Quneitra along the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights where rebels are waging an offensive against the army and Iranian-backed militias in the strategic border area.
A rebel official said the latest ceasefire was a ploy to drag the opposition to Astana. The rebel side has already expressed deep misgivings about the de-escalation zones, which they say benefit the Syrian army by freeing forces to allow them to make territorial gains elsewhere.
The Syrian opposition and rebel groups accuse Russia of abetting the Syrian army in its major offensive to wrest full control of Deraa.
Some rebel factions are expected to be absent from the Astana talks because of what many see as Russia's unwillingness to end air strikes and its failure to get the Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias to abide by a ceasefire, a rebel source said.
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