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Jordan to partake in Astana talks today

By JT - Dec 20,2017 - Last updated at Dec 20,2017

AMMAN — Jordan will take part in the Astana talks over the Syrian crisis as an observer, it was announced. 

This is not the first time Jordan partakes in the talks as a direct neighbour of Syria and a main host of Syrian refugees, whose total number has exceeded 1.3 million, including more than 600 million refugees registered with UNHCR. 

Participants were arriving in the Kazakh capital on Wednesday to attend the eighth round of Syria talks, Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry said Wednesday.

“Delegations of the guarantor countries of the cessation of hostilities in Syria are arriving in Astana to participate in the next round of talks, which will be held on December 21-22,” the ministry said in a statement, quoted by Anadolu news agency. 

The two-day meeting will be attended by representatives from Russia, Turkey and Iran, which are the guarantor states that brokered a ceasefire in Syria in December 2016, leading to the Astana peace talks that are running parallel to the Geneva talks, which failed earlier this month. 

The Turkish delegation is chaired by the deputy undersecretary of the foreign ministry, Sedat Onal, while Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian president’s special envoy for Syria, leads the Russian team, and Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari heads Iran’s delegation, the agency said. 

The ministry said representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, as well as delegations from the UN, Jordan and the US will also participate.

It added that bilateral and multilateral consultations are planned for Thursday and a plenary meeting is scheduled for Friday.

The seventh round of Syria peace talks ended without agreement in October in Astana, Anadolu said. 

 

During his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, which covered the developments in Syria, His Majesty King Abdullah said that after substantial progress on the ground in the northern neighbour, the “next stage calls for further efforts to build on the Astana talks to reach a political solution that guarantees the stability, unity, and future of Syria”.

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