Iran does not want the USA at Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan

Jan 20, 2017, 00:09
Iran does not want the USA at Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan

One of the three sponsors of the peace talks, Iran has not signed the agreement reached between Russian Federation and Turkey that launched the cease-fire.

The pledges came as the Islamic State group, which is excluded from peace talks as well as a nationwide truce deal struck on December 30, advanced in oil-rich Deir Ezzor province, cutting off a key airport from government-held territory.

Earlier, heads of Russian Federation and Turkey agreed to propose the conflicting parties of Syria to continue peaceful negotiations on a new platform - in the capital of Kazakhstan.

Although the USA was not supposed to be a player in the new round of diplomacy on Syria, Russia seems to have shifted gear, as its top diplomat announced on Tuesday it is right to invite the new U.S. administration to the Astana talks.

He also said that his government welcomes any initiative which helps restore stability and security to Syria, expressing hope that the Astana meeting would help find a solution to the almost six-year war in Syria. Rebel groups had control of almost half of the city, once Syria's commercial center, since 2012.

A leader of Jaysh al-Islam, Mohammed Alloush, said he would head the rebel delegation and aim to end the "crimes" of the government and its allies. "In other words Washington must understand that PYD can not be a tool of achieving U.S. goals in the region", Kurtulmus said.

A ceasefire agreement was reached between the Syrian government and oppositions at the end of a year ago after intense diplomatic efforts by Russia, Turkey and other countries.

"The (Syrian) armed groups have accepted the invitation of these three countries and are going to Astana".

"An official invitation was received", the official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

If this meeting takes place, it will represent a profound moment for the Syrian conflict, as the military protagonists will be brought together for the first time since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011.

Syria talks are set to kickoff next week and Russian Federation wants officials from the incoming Trump administration to attend the meeting in Kazakhstan.

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