Syrian armed opposition to attend peace talks in Astana
02 May 2017 - 12:15
ASTANA, Kazakhstan: Syria's armed opposition groups have confirmed their attendance at peace talks that are set to resume in the Kazakh capital, Astana, later this week, a Kazakh official said on Tuesday.
Mohamed Alloush will head the opposition delegation in the talks.
The talks, which will focus on the cease-fire that came into effect on Dec. 30, 2016, have been brokered by Turkey -- which backs the opposition -- and Russia and Iran, who support the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anuar Zhainakov confirmed all sides, including the Syrian regime and armed opposition from the northern and southern fronts are expected to attend the fourth round of negotiations.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will also attend the talks, according to Zhainakov.
The talks, which had been previously held in January, February and March, will now be held between May 3 and May 4.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Several rounds of peace talks -- in Geneva and the Kazakh capital Astana -- have so far failed to end the conflict, in which hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians are believed to have been killed to date.