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Syrian government, opposition sit down at one table as Astana talks open

January 23, 11:53 UTC+3 ASTANA

During the attempts to relaunch intra-Syrian talks in Geneva in 2016 the government and the opposition never sat down at one table

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© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

ASTANA, January 23. /TASS/. Representatives of delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition sat down at one table together during the opening of talks on the Syrian crisis in Kazakhstan's Astana on Monday.

The head of the Syrian government’s delegation, the permanent representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari, and the representative of Jaysh al-Islam Mohammed Alloush, the key representative of the opposition in Astana, were present at the talks’ opening.

The negotiations will be held through a mediator. During the attempts to relaunch intra-Syrian talks in Geneva in 2016 the government and the opposition never sat down at one table.

The participants of the meeting made no statements as the talks opened. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev prepared a statement that was read out. The country’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov also greeted the participants.

The talks in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Syria between the government and the armed opposition are held on January 23-24. They also involve the delegations of Russia, Iran, Turkey, the United States and United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

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