Iran says Astana talks reinforce legitimacy of Syrian regime

Iran says Astana talks reinforce legitimacy of Syrian regime

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, among the major achievements of the talks in Astana was the agreement that the armed Syrian opposition will participate in further negotiations regarding the Syrian reconciliation along with the political opposition.

Bashar Ja'afari, head of the Syrian government delegation, speaks at the press conference after the Syrian talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, Jan. 24, 2017.

However, it's unclear if the Syrian rebel groups, the Syrian government and Turkey would accept such a proposal.

"Minister Lavrov invited a wide range of political opposition members in order to brief us about the outcome of the recent Astana meeting that confirmed the ceasefire", Jihad Makdissi told ARA News.

"We did not receive an invitation", Fares Buyush told AFP from Istanbul after the rebels left Astana.

The UN envoy for Syria said today that a final declaration was close to being achieved at indirect talks between Syrian rebels and their war-torn country's regime in Kazakhstan's capital Astana.

Representatives from Damascus and the armed rebels in the Kazakh capital were expected to hold their first face-to-face talks since the conflict erupted in 2011, but the rebels refused and mediators had to shuttle between the two sides. Russia plays a crucial role in resolving the Syrian conflict, King Abdullah II of Jordan said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

A member of the rebel delegation told AFP yesterday that the group would agree to have Russian Federation serve as a guarantor of the current ceasefire but not Iran, another backer of President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin praised the meetings, saying they offered a "good basis for continuing" the process in Geneva, referring to United Nations-led talks due to take place February 8.

The war in Syria has cost some 310,000 lives and forced millions to flee the country since Assad's brutal crackdown on protestors turned into an armed conflict in 2011.

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