Russia to host Syrian peace talks for first time next month

MOSCOW (dpa)- Russia will host Syrian peace talks between that country's government and opposition groups for the first time next month in the southern city of Sochi, according to a statement Friday.
The main military backer of Syria's government, Russia announced earlier this month that it had accomplished its mission of defeating the extremist group Islamic State in Syria and would shift its focus to restoring peace.

The Sochi talks are intended to provide momentum for years-long negotiations brokered by the United Nations in Geneva, according to the joint statement by Russia, Iran and Turkey, which have been trying to maintain a broad ceasefire in Syria.
Like Russia, Iran supports Syria's government, whereas Turkey has backed certain opposition groups. Their joint statement expressed hope for a resolution to the conflict through an "intra-Syrian agreement based on mutual consent."
Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry released the statement following the eighth round of Syrian peace talks brokered by the three ceasefire-enforcing states in the neutral Central Asian country.
Russian, Iranian and Turkish officials will convene in Sochi on January 19 and 20 to prepare for the broader meeting between Syrian state and opposition representatives on January 29 and 30, the statement said.

Saturday, December 23rd 2017

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