MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed in a phone conversation with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev the preparation for a meeting in Astana on Syria, the Kremlin press service said on Thursday.
"The preparation for the upcoming international meeting in Astana on the Syrian settlement was discussed," the press service said.
The sides also discussed vital issues of bilateral cooperation.
In mid-December, Russian and Turkish leaders Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed with Kazakhstan’s president the possibility of holding in Astana a meeting between the Syrian conflicting sides.
Nazarbayev approved this idea, saying his country supports the international efforts aimed at peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria.
Putin said on December 29 that agreements on ceasefire in Syria had been reached, and the Syrian government and the armed opposition were ready to begin peace talks. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said later that the talks in Astana would be held on January 23. He warned that the talks could be disrupted if the ceasefire regime was violated in Syria.
The armed groups of the Syrian opposition earlier said they were "freezing all contacts related to preparations for Astana talks" accusing the government forces of violating the ceasefire near Damascus, and also in Hama and Daraa provinces.