February 15, 2017 / 1:36 PM / 9 months ago

U.N. envoy will not attend Syria talks in Astana - spokeswoman

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will not attend talks on the Syria crisis in the Kazakh capital Astana, his spokeswoman Yara Sharif said on Wednesday.

U.N. mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura attends a news conference after a meeting at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

Sharif said de Mistura was instead sending a team of five people to the Astana talks, which will be attended by representatives from Russia, Iran and Turkey.

A new round of U.N.-backed peace talks is due to begin in Geneva next week.

Reporting by Tom Miles; writing by Alessandra Prentice and Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Polina Devitt

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