Russian FM says new Astana talks on Syria to follow the same format

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday a new round of Syria talks in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana would be held in the same format as last month. He also said the Astana meeting would be used to promote a cease-fire and advance political process in Syria.

Astana will host the new meeting on Wednesday and Thursday with representatives of Russia, Turkey and Iran who agreed last month to create a cease-fire monitoring group.

Lavrov also confirmed representatives of the Syrian regime, the opposition, the U.S. plus UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura had been invited to this week’s Astana meeting.

U.S. is expected to be an observer at these talks.

More talks are due to take place between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva on Feb. 20.

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