ASTANA, May 14. /TASS/. The ninth round of talks on Syria is kicking off in the capital of Kazakhstan on Monday. High-ranking representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey, the countries acting as guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, will discuss the situation in four de-escalation zones (Eastern Ghouta, the area north of Homs, Idlib and southern Syria - TASS) from the perspective of consolidating the ceasefire along with humanitarian issues and prospects for a political settlement, specifically, the resumption of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva. "The parties plan to discuss the current situation in Syria, including in the de-escalation zones, humanitarian issues and confidence-building measures and coordinate further steps to facilitate the process of resolving the crisis in that Arab country," Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry noted.
The Russian delegation is led by Special Presidential Envoy for the Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentiev, the Iranian - by Senior Assistant to Iran's Foreign Minister for Special Political Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari and the Turkish - by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Sedat Onal.
The Syrian parties will be represented by the government delegation led by Syrian Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar Jaafari and the armed opposition. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and the delegation of Jordan will take part in the meeting as observers.
On May 14, the parties will hold expert consultations, while the plenary meeting is scheduled to be held on May 15. The second meeting of the working group to release detainees and hostages in Syria is expected to be held on the sidelines of the event.