Guarantor States’ Working Group Meeting Kick Off

Meetings of the Working Group of ceasefire guarantor states, Russia, Turkey and Iran, opened the sixth round of Syrian settlement talks in Astana.

The sixth round of talks on Syria in Astana has kicked off with meetings of the Working Group of ceasefire guarantor states, Russia, Turkey and Iran, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Wednesday.

The Working Group is made up of experts from the three states. In the morning, bilateral meetings in a closed format are taking place. In the afternoon, experts from the UN team are expected to join the technical discussions.

Expert consultations will be succeeded by high-level meetings on Thursday and Friday.

A previous round of Astana talks was held in July.

The sixth round of Astana talks on the Syrian settlement is expected to be successful, with a whole package of documents signed, including an agreement on the de-escalation zone in Idlib, a source close to the talks told Sputnik Wednesday.

“This Astana meeting is widely expected to be a huge success, to finalize the whole Astana process since January. A lot of work has been done at the expert level and the highest political level, to reach a final agreement on the whole package of documents, on all de-escalation zones, including the one in Idlib, on their borders, monitoring etc. There are all the prerequisites for it,” the source said.

According to the source, if this round is a success and all agreements are reached, “then you only need a political agreement as the next step.”



Syria: Talks Should Address ‘Disappeared’

International backers of negotiations to end the conflict in Syria should ensure that any transitional process includes a robust independent body to investigate thousands of “disappeared,” Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations designated August 30 as the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances to raise awareness about enforced disappearances around the world.

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