Syria Peace Talks Set for Jan. 23
Talks on Syria’s political future will take place in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on January 23, a source in the Russian foreign ministry confirmed to AFP on Wednesday. “At this time there is no indication that the meeting will be postponed. The date of January 23 is set,” the source said of the negotiations to be hosted by Russia and Turkey between the Syrian government and rebel groups, Agence France Presse reported. Russia and Turkey last month brokered a ceasefire in the ravaged country which was backed by the opposing sides in the protracted war but was done without the involvement of Washington, a negotiator in previous ceasefires. The truce went into effect on December 30 and has brought calm to much of Syria though fighting continued in some places like the outskirts of Damascus. The diplomatic source said Wednesday that current preparations for the peace talks involve compiling a list of participants. Some groups have already expressed concern over whether the meeting will be fully representative, with the Syrian Kurds saying they were not invited.