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Russia says Syria ceasefire to be discussed at January talks in Kazakhstan - Ifax
December 23, 2016 / 7:18 AM / in a year

Russia says Syria ceasefire to be discussed at January talks in Kazakhstan - Ifax

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Friday he expected new Syria peace talks backed by Moscow, Ankara and Tehran to take place in the middle of January, the Interfax news agency reported.

Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov sits after arriving for a trilateral meeting with UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman during the second round of negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud/Pool/Files

It cited Gatilov as saying he expected they would focus on discussing what needs to be done to get a nationwide ceasefire for Syria in place.

The foreign and defence ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey held talks on Syria in Moscow on Tuesday after which they said they were ready to help broker a Syrian peace deal.

The United States sought to downplay its absence from the talks, saying it was not a “snub” and did not reflect a decline of U.S. influence in the Middle East.

United Nations Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura has said he intends to convene separate peace talks in Geneva on Feb. 8. The U.N.-backed talks have been held intermittently. Russia says the Kazakh talks would complement rather than compete with the U.N. talks.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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