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17th round of Astana talks on Syria kick off in Kazakhstan

The 17th round of Astana talks on Syria kicked off in Kazakhstan on Tuesday with the attendance of representatives of the guarantor countries.

The bilateral and tripartite meetings of the parties participating in the talks -- Turkey, Russia, and Iran –- started in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan at 8 a.m. Turkish time (0500GMT).

The two-day talks focus on confidence-building measures such as the current situation in Syria, the delivery of humanitarian aid, the resumption of the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, the exchange of prisoners, the release of hostages, and the search for missing persons.

Ambassador Selcuk Unal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's director-general responsible for Syria, is representing Ankara at the meetings.

Russia is represented by Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Iran by Ali Asghar Khaji, a senior advisor to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The Syrian regime joined the meeting with a delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Ayman Susan and the opposition with a delegation headed by Ahmad Tuma.


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