Russia says Syria ceasefire to be discussed at January talks in Kazakhstan

December 23, 2016 09:17

MOSCOW - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Friday he expected new Syria peace talks backed by Moscow, Ankara and Tehran to take place in the middle of January, the Interfax news agency reported.

It cited Gatilov as saying he expected they would focus on discussing what needs to be done to get a nationwide ceasefire for Syria in place.The foreign and defence ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey held talks on Syria in Moscow on Tuesday after which they said they were ready to help broker a Syrian peace deal.

The United States sought to downplay its absence from the talks, saying it was not a "snub" and did not reflect a decline of US influence in the Middle East.
United Nations Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura has said he intends to convene separate peace talks in Geneva on Feb. 8. The UN-backed talks have been held intermittently. Russia says the Kazakh talks would complement rather than compete with the UN talks.

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