Second day of Astana talks starts with arrival of Russian, Iranian delegations

Sputnik – Consultations on Syria in Astana have entered the second day with the arrivals of the Russian and Iranian delegations to the talks venue, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Wednesday.

ASTANA (Sputnik) — A joint session of all participants is expected around 1.00 — 2.00 pm local time (07:00-08:00 GMT).

The Russian delegation is headed by special presidential envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, while the Damascus delegation is headed by Syria’s Envoy to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari.

Iran is represented by Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari, while Turkey is represented by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal.

Syria’s armed opposition has so far refused to attend the new meeting on Syria in the Kazakh capital.

The agenda of the third round of the talks in Astana presupposed that the delegations of the Syrian authorities and armed opposition as well as the international mediators, such as Russia, Turkey and Iran would focus on the map of terrorists’ presence in the war-torn state.

The first round of Astana talks on Syria brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran were held on January 23-24 and resulted in a Moscow-Tehran-Ankara agreement on the establishment of a trilateral mechanism to monitor the ceasefire in Syria.

The second round of the Astana talks took place on February 15-16, with the participants agreeing to set up a ceasefire monitoring group, encompassing Iran, Russia and Turkey, that would report to the United Nations.

The third round of intra-Syrian talks in Astana, taking place on March 14-15, will include consultations on the first day and a plenary session on Wednesday.