Diplomatic efforts on Syria sag in Astana

Talks on Syria spearheaded by Russia in Astana failed to edge the seven-year conflict closer to a political settlement on Tuesday (May 15th) and cast the future of diplomatic efforts to end the crisis into uncertainty, AFP reported.

Backed by regime allies Russia and Iran, and opposition supporter Turkey, the negotiations in Astana began in January last year, running parallel to talks overseen by the UN in Geneva.

The two-day talks involving both the Syrian regime and the opposition were the ninth round of Syria negotiations held in Kazakhstan to date.

A joint resolution produced by the three countries Tuesday said the next high-level meeting on Syria would take place in the Russian city of Sochi in July.

But members of Syria's armed opposition present in Astana immediately ruled out attending the event in Russia.

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