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Astana format on Syrian settlement convenes in Kazakh capital



A new round of talks on the Syrian settlement started Wednesday in Kazakhstan's capital Astana.


The participants of the Astana format, which includes Iran, Russia, Syria, Türkiye, and the UN gathered for their 21st meeting to discuss the impact of the situation in Gaza on Syria in the wake of fresh attacks by Israel.


Representatives of Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the International Committee of the Red Cross are expected to participate as observers.


In June last year, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry suggested to end meetings on Syria because the acute phase of the confrontation between the Syrian government and opposition was over.


However, the Kazakh authorities decided to hold a new meeting in accordance with the collective appeal of the guarantor countries of the format.


The Kazakh Foreign Ministry said that Jan. 24 is reserved for meetings between the delegations, and a plenary session will be held on Jan. 25.


Commenting on the meeting, the Russian Foreign Ministry praised the Astana format as "the most effective format" for addressing issues of long-term settlement in Syria.


Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan emphasized the importance of preserving the approaches developed in the Astana format for the settlement in Syria.

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