A third round of talks aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria has officially gotten underway in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.
The talks kicked off with a meeting between the United Nations (UN) and Russian delegations on Tuesday. Delegations started arriving for the negotiations in Astana on Monday.
The Astana talks, which have been going on in parallel with UN-brokered talks in the Swiss city of Geneva, have been an initiative of guarantor states Iran, Russia, and Turkey. The first round of the talks took place on January 23-24 and the second on February 15-16.
The Syrian government and the country’s opposition comprise the main sides to the talks, while Iran, Russia, and Turkey mediate the process. Tehran and Moscow are allied with Damascus, whereas Turkey acts on behalf of the Syrian opposition.