Kazakhstan postpones Syria talks by a day

The so-called Syrian Liberation Army, among the armed opposition groups, has ratified the transfer of many representatives to this city to participate in the second round of meetings on January 23rd and 24th.

Russian Federation and Iran, close allies of President Bashar Assad, and Turkey, which backs the rebels, previously pledged to enforce the cease-fire, but both sides have alleged repeated violations.

Talks are likely to focus on bolstering a shaky ceasefire on the ground after Moscow, Tehran and Ankara agreed to establish a "mechanism" aimed at ensuring the truce.

"The government is ready.as part of efforts towards the next meeting in Astana to exchange detainees for men, women and children - civilians and soldiers - kidnapped by terrorists", SANA said, referring to the rebels.

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Salim Al-Muslit, spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said there could be no role for Al-Assad in the transition, saying "the heavy price paid by the Syrian people" would have been wasted if he remained.

This is going to be the first time delegations of the Syrian government and opposition will return to Geneva since the talks were suspended in 2016. The Syrian government said on February 13 it was ready to agree on prisoner swaps with rebel groups. This month, the Syrian regime and opposition groups swapped dozens of women prisoners and hostages, some of them with their children, in Hama province in northwestern Syria.

A new round of talks on Syria conflict led by Russia, Turkey and Iran is taking place in Kazak capital, Astana on Wednesday.

The Kazakh foreign ministry said representatives from the government and armed rebels, as well as United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura and USA officials, would be invited to the summit.

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