Fresh round of Syria talks opens in Astana

A fresh round of Syria peace talks opened in the Kazakh capital Astana on Monday (October 30th), AFP reported.

"Closed-format talks have begun," Kazakh foreign ministry spokesman Anuar Zhainakov said, adding that the two-day negotiations would conclude with statements to the press.

Zhainakov confirmed that delegations from the Syrian opposition and regime had arrived in Astana, as had negotiators from opposition backer Turkey and regime backers Russia and Iran.

Previous rounds of Astana negotiations have ended without major breakthroughs.

But the last round of talks in September saw Russia, Turkey and Iran agree to jointly police a buffer zone in the contentious northern province of Idlib.

The next round of Geneva talks will begin on November 28th, Syria's UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said last week.

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