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Kazakhstan to host Syria talks this month: foreign ministry

AFP  |  Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) 

said Tuesday it will host fresh talks on on April 25-26, backed by Iran, and as they eye an end to the eight-year conflict.

Delegations from the Syrian regime and armed opposition groups are expected to participate along with representatives of the three guarantor states, Kazakhstan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The and would attend as observers, it added.

The situation on the ground in Idlib will be on the agenda of the talks, as well as "confidence-building measures" and the distribution of humanitarian aid.

The talks will be the first in for the UN's new Geir Pedersen, who took over from Staffan de Mistura in January.

De Mistura seemed frustrated at the most recent talks in November, ruing a "missed opportunity" to move closer towards a political settlement.

Pedersen said that talks in Sunday with Syrian focused on a political settlement had been "substantial."

Russia, a key backer of Syrian Bashar al-Assad, has taken a lead role in diplomatic efforts through the so-called "process" with and that has largely sidelined UN diplomacy.

The talks there began in January 2017.

Last month the Kazakh capital changed its name from Astana to Nur-Sultan, although the former name is still being used for the talks.

Syria's war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since the conflict began with the repression of anti-government protests in 2011.

The Syrian regime has made a military comeback with Russian military support since 2015, and now holds almost two-thirds of the country.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 16 2019. 17:10 IST