Delegates gather in Astana for Syria ceasefire talks

Press TV- Kazakhstan says delegations from Iran, Russia and Turkey are arriving in Astana for a third round of talks to put an end to the conflict in Syria.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on Monday that delegations had already started arriving despite a request from Syrian militants to delay the meeting.

The third round of Astana talks is due to take place on March 14-15, with Iran, Russia and Turkey trying to shore up a ceasefire between the warring sides that was brokered in December.

On Monday, Tehran-based media said the Iranian team had departed for Astana, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaber Ansari.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaber Ansari speaks to the media following the second session of Syria talks at the Rixos President Hotel in Astana, February 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The first round of the Astana talks took place on January 23-24. The second round was held on February 15-16.

Last week, the militants called for the postponement of the process, saying they had to first make sure about Damascus and its allies’ adherence to the ceasefire.

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The Astana talks got off the ground after the negotiators successfully mediated an all-Syria ceasefire. The agreement was on the extension of a previous one bringing about a cessation of hostilities in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo.