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Moscow hopes US delegation to attend meeting on Syria in Astana

February 13, 2017, 11:50 UTC+3

Delegations of Damascus, armed opposition are expected to come for Astana meeting on February 15-16

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Astana, Kazakhstan

Astana, Kazakhstan

© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Russia’s delegation to the Syria meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital on February 15-16 will be led by president’s special envoy for the Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentyev, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said.

"Russian president’s special envoy for the Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentyev will come. We will have the same delegation as for the first Astana meeting on January 23-24," Bogdanov said.

"We hope that US representatives will come as observers," he said. "Last time the meeting was attended by the ambassador. I believe our American partners will decide now."

"As for the Syrians, I think the government’s delegation will be the same as at the first meeting on January 23-24," Bogdanov said. "Speaking on the delegation of the armed opposition, I think that now they are specifying this."

When asked if the same opposition groups are expected to attend the talks, Bogdanov said: "Yes, as the task remains the same - to consolidate the ceasefire."

"The process is widening, I hope new armed groups, including those in the southern areas of Syria, will join the ceasefire deal," Bogdanov said. "Any other issues may be discussed at the meeting depending on the wish of the Syrian participants."

The meeting will be attended by three guarantor-countries - Russia, Iran and Turkey, as well as Jordan and the UN representatives, and a US observer.

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