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12:47, 25 June 2018 Monday
Update: 14:15, 30 October 2017 Monday

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7th round Syria peace talks gets underway in Kazakhstan
7th round Syria peace talks gets underway in Kazakhstan

Brokered by Turkey, Russia, and Iran, talks will address strengthening cease-fire, release of captives, hostages

World Bulletin / News Desk

The seventh round of peace talks aimed at ending the Syria conflict began Monday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

The talks, which will focus on strengthening the cease-fire that came into effect on Dec. 30, are brokered by Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russia and Iran, who support Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

The two-day meeting will also address the release of captives and hostages, and humanitarian action on mines.

The Turkish delegation will be chaired by Deputy Foreign Undersecretary Sedat Onal, while Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev will lead the Russian team and Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari will head Iran’s delegation.

Representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, as well as delegations from the UN, Jordan, and the U.S. will attend the talks.

Monday's bilateral and multilateral talks will have a closed-door format, and a plenary meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

During the talks, the participants will also discuss expanding the number of observer states in the Astana process, to include such states as Iraq and China.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov previously said he believed that it would be "useful" to expand the number of observer countries. 

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