Opposition delegation completes preparations for Astana talks

Orient Net 2017-01-21 09:09:00

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Preparations for the Astana talks, set to begin on Monday, have been completed according to Syrian opposition sources and Turkish officials. 

After two weeks of meetings in the Turkish capital Ankara, an opposition delegation of about 50 individuals, including negotiators and advisors, is set to depart for Astana on Saturday.

On Friday, representatives from the opposition met Russian officials in Ankara to discuss the agenda of the Astana talks. Opposition representatives said they presented an initiative for implementing the ceasefire, especially in Wadi Barada. The Russian delegation promised to transfer the initiative to the Russian leadership for consideration. 

The Astana talks are scheduled to be held on the 23rd of this month (January). The negotiations are brokered by Turkey and Russia and are intended to bolster the Syria ceasefire that was declared in Ankara last December.

The opposition’s delegation to the Astana talks will be headed by the senior member in Jaysh al-Islam, Muhammad Alloush, while Assad regime’s permanent representative at the United Nations Bashar al-Jafaari will head the regime’s delegation. 

A countrywide ceasefire in Syria was declared on Thursday (29 December 2016), after Turkey, Russia and opposition fighting groups reached a deal in the Turkish capital Ankara. According to the deal, Turkey and Russia would act as guarantor countries for the implementation of the ceasefire.