Syrian opposition to form delegation for talks with authorities by Jan. 16

Sputnik News– The Syrian opposition pledged to form a delegation to conduct special negotiations aimed at a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis, by January 16, 2017, according to the agreement on the preparation of the intra-Syrian meeting.

The Syrian opposition agreed to form a delegation for negotiations with the country’s authorities in Astana by January 16, 2017, and the talks are to start January 23, according to the text of the agreement on the preparation of the meeting.

“The opposition has pledged to form a delegation to conduct special negotiations aimed at a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis, by January 16, 2017 with the participation of guarantors,” the agreement, seen by Sputnik, stated.

According to the document, entitled “the agreement on the formation of the delegation to start special talks on a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis by peaceful means,” the negotiations between representatives of the opposition and the Syrian authorities will start in Astana on January 23 and will be held with the participation of UN representatives. In line with the agreement, the talks between the Syrian authorities and opposition in Astana should result in road map on crisis resolution as soon as possible.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier Wednesday that Ankara was working jointly with Moscow on possible measures against violators of the ceasefire in Syria. He also announced that Russian experts would visit Turkey on January 9-10 to discuss the upcoming intra-Syrian negotiations in Astana.

The Syrian government and armed opposition groups in late December agreed on a ceasefire on Syrian territory and on readiness to start peace talks. Three ceasefire documents were signed between the Syrian government and the armed opposition forces. The ceasefire took effect at 00:00 local time Friday, December 30. The documents also introduced a monitor mechanism and set forth that the parties are ready to start peace negotiations.

On December 17, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed in a phone call the possibility of a meeting between the Syrian conflicting parties in Astana. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev supported this initiative and expressed readiness to provide a platform for such talks in the Kazakh capital. On December 29, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia, along with Turkey and Iran, is starting preparation for the Astana meeting on Syria.