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Assad reveals main purpose of Astana meeting on Syria

January 19, 14:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The talks in Astana will allow groups of the armed opposition to join the national reconciliation process in Syria

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Syria’s President Bashar Assad

Syria’s President Bashar Assad

© SANA via AP

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Keeping of the ceasefire regime for delivery of humanitarian assistance to Syria’s various regions will be a priority at the upcoming Syrian talks, due in Astana, Syria’s President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Japan’s TBS television.

Announcement on the forthcoming talks between the Syrian government and the opposition was made after a meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers in Moscow on December 20, 2016. They gave support to the efforts to establish peace across the entire Syrian territory. 

The talks in Astana will allow groups of the armed opposition to join the national reconciliation process in Syria. The Syrian president said members of the armed groups "should refuse from arms and receive the governmental amnesty."

"This is the only we should be expecting at this time," he said. "We hope, Astana will be a platform for contacts between all the Syrian sides, where all issues will be discussed."

"I think, in the beginning the talks will focus on ceasefire and protection of civilians, on allowing humanitarian assistance to the regions," he said. "As yet it is not clear whether a political dialogue will take place at the conference in Astana."

"We are still unaware of who [representing the opposition] will participate in the talks," the Syrian president said.

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