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UN Syria Envoy Upbeat on Astana Talks

UN Syria Envoy Upbeat on Astana TalksUN Syria Envoy Upbeat on Astana Talks

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is hopeful that the Astana peace process will ultimately lead to an end to the plight of Syrian people who have been embroiled in over six years of civil war. De Mistura was in Tehran for meetings with Iranian officials on Monday ahead of the sixth round of Astana talks that are jointly sponsored by Iran, Russia and Turkey, and hosted by Kazakhstan, IRNA reported.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari, de Mistura said, "One of the important topics discussed was the upcoming Astana meeting because what matters most for the Syrian people is a reduction in violence and this can be achieved in Astana.

Ansari reiterated the Islamic Republic's position that it is up to the Syrian people to decide the country's political future and leadership.

"We oppose the interference of foreigners to dictate conditions to the Syrian nation," Ansari said. De Mistura also met with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later in the day.

The sixth round of Astana talks has been pushed back from late August to mid-September, but the exact date is yet to be fixed. In the last Astana meeting in July, the three nations failed to finalize an agreement on creating four de-escalation zones in Syria after Ankara raised objections.

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