Syria peace talks in Astana discussed by Kazakh and Russian FMs
Jan 18 2017 by Desiree Burns
During those talks, government negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari and leading rebel figure Mohammad Alloush often butted heads, with Jaafari calling his rival a "terrorist".
The rebel groups, which are largely aligned with Ankara, said they will only be there to discuss the implementation of the ceasefire deal, a legal advisor to the Free Syrian Army told German news agency DPA.
The talks, beginning next week in the Kazakh capital Astana, are set to build on a nationwide truce that has largely held despite escalating violence across several battlefronts in recent days.
The talks are part of a three-way process led by Russian Federation and including Turkey and Iran - now the three most powerful global players on the ground in Syria.
Several rounds of negotiations hosted by the United Nations, most recently in April 2016, have failed to bring an end to the war that has killed more than 310,000 people.
"My hope is the next administration will decide to go", he said.
Lavrov said that such a dialogue could cover topics such as hypersonic weapons, the United States missile shield in Europe, space weapons and nuclear tests.
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Russian Federation and Turkey brokered a ceasefire for Syria on December 31, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other organizations have reported ongoing violence in the country.
"We consider it right to invite" the new Trump administration to send officials to the planned talks on January 23 in the Kazakh capital, Astana, Lavrov told a news conference Tuesday in Moscow. He also emphasized that the talks will not replace those taking place in Geneva.
"We're encouraging a meeting in Astana".
Sources from the opposition and the regime said the talks would "probably" be face-to-face.
Syria's conflict began with protests against Assad in 2011, but it has since morphed into a war that has killed 310,000 people and witnessed the rise of radical jihadists like IS.
Russian Federation hopes the incoming Trump administration will accept the invitation.