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Syria grateful to Russia for brokering talks in Astana

January 02, 23:12 UTC+3 BEIRUT
Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Walid Muallem noted that the meeting would be convened in late January in Astana "due to a victory of the Syrian army and its allies in Aleppo."
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BEIRUT, January 2. /TASS/. Syria is "grateful to a friendly Russia for its support in the war on terror and initiative to hold peace talks in Astana," Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in Tehran on Monday, cited by the Syria al-An information portal.

Muallem, who arrived in Iran on a working visit, noted that the meeting seeking to find a solution to the Syria crisis would be convened in late January in Astana "due to a victory of the Syrian army and its allies in Aleppo."

"The success has helped to come over to the search for a political solution that will ensure Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty," he said, noting the importance of tripartite coordination among Russia, Iran and Syria ahead of the intra-Syrian negotiations in Astana, which "should be held without any external interference and preconditions."

"The Syrian government will take part in the meetings in Astana so as to develop success achieved in the battle for Aleppo," Muallem said.

On December 29, 2016 Muallem said that seven armed opposition groups had agreed on a ceasefire and had pledged to seek a political way out of the crisis. The Syrian foreign minister is convinced that the upcoming negotiations in Astana will yield success if armed opposition groups disassociate themselves from terrorist organizations like Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia), which are not included in the ceasefire deal.

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