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SYRIAN REBEL GROUPS, REGIME ARRIVE IN ASTANA FOR PEACE TALKS

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, The delegations of the Syrian rebel groups and the regime have arrived in the Kazakh capital of Astana to hold peace talks organised by Russia and Turkey.

Abdulhakim Bashar, the vice president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, told EFE that the opposition delegation, composed of 39 representatives from different factions under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army, arrived early yesterday.

Bashar, who participates in the delegation as a political consultant along with other members of the national coalition, explained that his team will prepare immediately for negotiations set for today, without giving further details on the conference schedule.

The government delegation, led by Syrian ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari, arrived late Sunday, a source from the negotiating team, who chose to remain anonymous, told EFE.

The team consists of 10 members, including Jaafari, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad, Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Arnous and two military personnel, government-linked Al Watan daily newspaper reported.

The peace talks will be held at the Rixos President Astana hotel, located in a commercial centre in the capital, which hosted earlier meetings of Syrian opposition groups in May 2015.

The talks have been convened under the ceasefire agreement, which entered into force on Dec. 30 between the rebels and the Syrian government, brokered by Russia and Turkey.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK