Sunday 23 July 2017

First Syria peace talks in a year begin

A car is parked in front of Rixos President Hotel, the venue that hosts Syria peace talks, in Astana, Kazakhstan (Photo: Reuters)
A car is parked in front of Rixos President Hotel, the venue that hosts Syria peace talks, in Astana, Kazakhstan (Photo: Reuters)

Talks between Syrian rebel factions and government representatives have opened in Kazakhstan.

The talks, backed by Russia and Turkey, are the first between the two warring sides in a year.

They mark the first face-to-face meeting between government representatives and a delegation heavily made up of rebels.

Representatives of Syria's rebel factions sat on one side of a room at the luxury Rixos Hotel in the capital Astana, while government delegates sat on the other side.

The talks are expected to focus on consolidating a shaky ceasefire that has been in place since December 30.

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