New Syria talks slated for mid-September

FNA- The 6th round of Intra-Syrian talks will be held in Astana, the Kazakh capital, on September 14-15, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry announced.

During the new round of Astana meeting, parties are supposed to discuss de-escalation zones in Idlib, Homs and Eastern Ghouta, the foreign ministry said.

Iran, Russia and Turkey are the initiators of the December 30, 2016 ceasefire in Syria. The three countries have also planned the first Astana Talks which were held in the capital city of Kazakhstan on January 23-24, 2017 and was attended by the Syrian government’s representatives as well as dissident groups.

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

The third meeting involving the Iranian, Russian and Turkish and the UN delegations was held on March 14-15, while the US and Jordan participated as observers.

In the fourth round of talks, the participating countries and warring sides agreed to create four de-escalation zones in Idlib Province, in northern parts of Homs, in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and in the south of the country.

Halt to all wars, facilitation of humanitarian aids, reconstruction of infrastructure, provision of medical care and return of the refugees were stressed in the agreement.

After the fifth round of talks on July 4, Moscow’s chief negotiator Aleksandr Lavrentev said a basic framework had been “essentially agreed” on in the latest negotiations, but some details “need finalizing.” Ultimately, there was no agreement at the end of the talks.