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Tuesday, February 14

Astana talks Feb 15-16: 'We don't want to be an accessory to their delegation'

Yippee!  They're meeting at the Rixos hotel again.

Kazakh Foreign Minister: Astana meeting will discuss mechanism of monitoring cessation of hostilities in Syria
February 14, 2017
SANA

Astana, SANA – Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on Tuesday that Astana meeting on the crisis in Syria which is scheduled for February 15-16 will discuss the mechanism of monitoring the cessation of hostilities agreement.

“In particular, a mechanism for recording ceasefire violations as well as sanctions against those who violate the ceasefire will be discussed,” he told reporters.

Abdrakhmanov added that the delegations of the Syrian Arab Republic and Russia have already arrived and that other delegations are expected to arrive soon.

According to the Kazakh top diplomat, five United Nations officials will also take part in the meeting. However, in his words, there was no information on the US participation yet.

In a relevant development, Kazakh Foreign Ministry said that the first meeting of Syrian talks in Astana on Wednesday will be held behind closed doors.

In a statement, the Ministry said that the next round in Astana as part of the process on the settlement of the crisis in Syria will start at a high level at 13:00 local Astana time at the Rixos Hotel.

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

[END REPORT]

Cairo group of Syrian opposition reluctant to join HNC delegation — representative
February 13, 17:59 UTC+3
TASS

[HNC = High Negotiations Committee, Saudi controlled]

The envoy noted that the Cairo group expects a decision of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on the format of representation at Geneva talks

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. The Syrian opposition’s Cairo group rejects a proposal of participants of Riyadh meeting who invited representatives of the Moscow and Cairo groups to their delegation to the Geneva talks, a representative of the Cairo platform of the opposition Jihad Makdissi said.

"No, we already told them we don't agree [with initiative of Riyadh group or the High Negotiations Committee]. We don't want to be an accessory in their delegation."

"We offered to create a delegation from three platforms instead: Moscow platform, Cairo platform and Riyadh platform. Since they created their own delegation, it means the answer (to our proposal) is "no," Makdissi said.

He noted that the Cairo group expects a decision of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on the format of representation at the Geneva talks. Makdissi noted that he could not say now about the composition of the Cairo group at the talks on Syria.

The participants in the meeting of the part of the Syrian opposition, primarily representatives of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), offered a 21-member delegation for consultations in Geneva in their final communique in Riyadh on February 10. Representatives of the Moscow and Cairo groups were offered one seat each in it.
[END REPORT]

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