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ASTANA, January 23. /TASS/. The delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition will sit down at the negotiating table on Monday and hold talks in the presence of a mediator, deputy head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces Abdul Hakim Bashar told TASS.
"Yes, these will be direct talks," he said.
Earlier in the day Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vasilenko said the format of the meeting was still under discussion. "We hope that (the talks) will be as fruitful as possible," the diplomat said.
Talks between the Syrian government and armed opposition will begin in Astana on Monday and will last for two days. The meeting was preceded on Sunday by consultations between Russia, Iran and Turkey that lasted for more than five hours. Apart from that, the Russian delegation met with United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura. Work continues on a final statement to be offered to the Syrian government and the opposition. The United Nations-brokered consultations in Geneva are scheduled to be launched on February 8.