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Russia, Iran, Turkey ready to discuss initiative on Congress of Peoples of Syria

The new round of talks is planned for December

ASTANA, October 31. /TASS/. Countries acting as guarantors of Syrian peace settlement - Russia, Turkey and Iran - are prepared to discuss Moscow’s proposal for convening the Congress for National Dialogue of the Peoples of Syria, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on Tuesday.

"They agree to discuss in the format of the UN-sponsored Geneva process the Russian Federation’s proposal to convene the National Dialogue Congress, on which the Russian side informed the guarantor countries," he said.

The new round of talks will be held in second half of December. "The sides have decided to hole the next high-level international meeting on Syria in Astana in the second half of December 2017," he said reading out the text of a joint statement by Syrian peace settlement guarantor countries.

"Emphasize progress in the fight against terrorism and elimination of Daesh/ISIL, Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or Daesh/ISIL as a result of the launch of the de-escalation areas and reaffirm their determination to take all necessary measures to continue the fight against them within or outside the de-escalation areas," the document says.

The document stresses the necessity for the conflicting parties "to take confidence-building measures, including the release of detainees/abductees and the handover of the bodies as well as identification of missing persons, to create better conditions for political process and lasting ceasefire.".

Hostage release

The issue of hostage release will be included in the final document of the international meeting on Syria in Astana, a Kazakh foreign ministry official told TASS on Tuesday.

"The hostage issue will be reflected in a joint statement after the talks," Aidarbek Tumatov, director of the ministry’s Asia and Africa department, said.

The seventh international meeting on Syrian settlement in the Kazakh capital city of Astana is held on October 30-31. It is planned to adopt a document on a working group that will address issues of hostage and prisoner release, exchange of bodies of those killed and the search for those missing. The sides also plan to discuss issues of the fight against international terrorism and adopt a joint statement on humanitarian demining in Syria.