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Syria Expert Talks Begin in Tehran

Syria Expert Talks Begin in TehranSyria Expert Talks Begin in Tehran

The two-day expert talks on Syria attended by Iran, Russia and Turkey kicked off in Tehran on Tuesday to flesh out an oversight mechanism for the four de-escalation zones the trio agreed to establish in the Arab country in May.

The meeting covers preparatory discussions ahead of the sixth round of the Astana peace negotiations set for late August, IRNA reported.

Moscow and Tehran back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, and Turkey, along with its western and regional allies, provides support to armed rebel groups seeking to end Assad’s rule in a war that has been raging for the past six years.

The trilateral Astana initiative, that has brought together representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups five times so far, was launched in January after the UN-brokered negotiations in Geneva broke down due to a surge in violence. The last round of the talks was held on July 4-5.

The deal on de-escalation zones was brokered during the fourth round in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on May 4.

Under the accord, de-escalation was envisaged to halt hostilities between government forces and opposition groups, and create conditions for humanitarian access, offer medical assistance, facilitate the return of displaced civilians to their homes and restore damaged infrastructure.

 

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