Iraq News

Syria peace talks in Astana hit hurdles

Syrian opposition groups said Wednesday (May 3rd) they were suspending participation in the latest round of peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, AFP reported.

Syrian regime and opposition delegations gathered in Astana for the start of the fourth round of talks sponsored by regime backers Russia and Iran and opposition supporter Turkey to try and end the six-year war, but the opposition delegation soon said it was temporarily pulling out.

An opposition source in Astana told AFP the delegation was suspending the meetings because of the "violent airstrikes on civilians".

The negotiations began with a series of bilateral meetings and were expected to focus on a Russian plan to establish "de-escalation zones" around the country.

The Astana talks are being conducted in conjunction with broader UN-backed peace efforts in Switzerland that have so far failed to bridge major rifts between the warring sides.

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