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Iranian Diplomat, UN Envoy Discuss Syria Peace

15 May 2018

A delegation of 24 representatives of the Syrian armed opposition has arrived in the Kazakh capital for the ninth round of talks on the Syrian crisis settlement, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry's press service said Tuesday.

Besides the Astana talks, United Nations-sponsored negotiations have been held in Geneva in search of an overall political solution to end the seven-year civil war in Syria.

According to the news agency SANA and local television, the guarantor States of the process (Russia, Iran and Turkey) also rejected the unilateral actions taken by some countries to settle the conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011.

"We regret this and believe the path to political settlement can only be found at the negotiating table, not in efforts and scenarios worked out behind the back of the Syrian government and the global community", he said, without elaborating.

Delegations from Jordan and the United Nations have taken part in the talks as observers while the USA did not participate in the talks. The United Nations envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura was also expected in the capital, Zhainakov wrote. The multi-sided conflict that has killed more than 350,000 people took a new turn last week after Israel and Iran became embroiled in a dispute over reported cross-border strikes.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov held talks in Moscow on Monday.

But the main focus of the Moscow talks will be the Iran nuclear deal Washington walked out of earlier this month, triggering broad global condemnation and fears of fresh conflicts in the region.

When listing the achievements made at the Astana talks, they agreed that recently, the struggle against terrorism on Syrian soil, particularly against the Islamic State and the Al-Nusra Front, has been strengthened.

Iranian Diplomat, UN Envoy Discuss Syria Peace