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Syrian Opposition Meets Behind Closed Doors in Astana

Monday 25 May 2015

ASTANA (Interfax-Kazakhstan) – The Syrian opposition starts talks on Monday in Astana. The talks held at the Rixos hotel in Astana will continue until May 27, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov has arrived at the venue in Astana to attend the talks. “The talks will be held behind closed doors. The place and date of the follow-up press conference will be announced later”, the Foreign Ministry said.

Kazakhstan supports the ongoing UN-led efforts inside and outside Syria aimed at putting an end to violence and bloodshed, stop humanitarian disaster and determine the political future of the country through dialogue and reconciliation, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

The talks are taking place behind closed doors. Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Iran, Bagdad, Amreyev, a fluent Arab speaker and a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, is moderating the talks. It is expected that participants in the talks will give a press conference upon the completion of the talks at a place and time yet to be announced.

Earlier a group of Syrian opposition forces appealed to Kazakhstan to mediate in the negotiations on the settlement of the crisis in Syria. “Feeling concern over the dire humanitarian situation in the country and holding a firm opinion that the settlement of the Syrian conflict is only possible through peaceful means and only by the Syrians themselves, Kazakhstan has decided to provide the Syrian opposition a platform for dialogue and create all necessary conditions for the success of the negotiations”, according to the press release.

Kazakhstan hopes for effective conclusion of the negotiations between the Syrians and other interested parties in the framework of the Geneva process to resolve the conflict in Syria and believes that the talks in Astana will be another contribution to the success of the negotiations in Geneva.

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