(Corrects to say Russia, Assad, Iran, Turkey agree Astana as
venue for talks, not that they will attend)
MOSCOW Dec 23 President Vladimir Putin said on
Friday that Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad had agreed that the Kazakh capital of Astana should be
the venue for new talks to try to resolve the conflict in Syria.
Putin also said the evacuation of Aleppo would not have been
possible without the help of Russia, Iran and Turkey or the good
will of Assad. He said the next step for Syria would be a
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said earlier
on Friday he expected the talks in Astana to take place in the
middle of January.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova, Vladimir Soldatkin and Denis
Pinchuk; Writing by Peter Hobson; Editing by Andrew Osborn)