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AMMAN Feb 16 The head of Syria's government
delegation at peace talks in Astana accused Turkey's delegation
and Syrian rebels, who arrived on Thursday - the last day of the
meeting, of trying to disrupt the negotiations by refusing to
agree to a communique.
Bashar Ja'afari said the rebels and their Turkish backers
had a "clear will to disrupt the Astana meetings", and that
Ankara must pull its troops out of Syria and close its border to
jihadist fighters if it was to be a real guarantor of a
Turkish-Russian ceasefire agreed at the end of last year.
"No final communique was issued because of Turkish
opposition to a draft statement," Ja'afari said.
The arrival of a downgraded Turkish delegation with the
rebels on the last day of the talks in the Kazakh capital also
signalled that they were not serious about the talks, he said.
"The delegation came with a low representation that does not
rise up to what Turkey claims as a guarantor ... and so the
Turkish role prompts many question marks over it," he said.
Ja'afari said Turkey must take decisive steps to stop
foreign jihadists entering Syrian and end its violation of
Syrian sovereignty by pulling its troops out if the ceasefire
was to take hold on the ground.
The ceasefire has been repeatedly violated, with each side
blaming the other, while fighting with jihadist groups such as
Islamic State and other armed groups, which are not included in
the truce, has raged on.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Louise Ireland)