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Kazakh top diplomat says ceasefire areas to be discussed at Astana meeting

March 14, 2017, 10:27 UTC+3 ASTANA

The new international Astana meeting is being held on March 14-15

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS, archive

ASTANA, March 14. /TASS/. Participants in the international Astana meeting on settling the Syrian crisis plan to discuss ceasefire areas, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said following a cabinet meeting.

"The guarantor countries (Russia, Iran, Turkey) have informed us that at the current round of talks, ceasefire areas and the establishment of a working group for exchanging information about prisoners will be discussed. Besides, the meeting’s participants will also discuss the demining of areas where important cultural sites protected by UNESCO are located. In addition, the meeting’s agenda includes some military issues to be reviewed by experts," Abdrakhmanov said.

According to the Kazakh top diplomat, these issues should be first and foremost be agreed on by the guarantor countries.

The new international Astana meeting is being held on March 14-15. On Tuesday, preliminary consultations will be held while a plenary meeting is due on Wednesday.

Last week, Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi said that during the Astana talks, "it is planned to conclude the work on a map indicating the areas where the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia) are active, agree on a draft provision concerning districts joining the ceasefire, form a working group for the exchange of forcibly held persons and discuss proposals on setting up an international coalition for demining UNESCO heritage sites and establishing a constitutional commission.".

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