ASTANA, Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition forces resumed in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan on Tuesday after a rough first day in which the sides exchanged barbs

but agreed on the need to maintain a ceasefire.

The negotiations – brokered by Russia, which backs Syria’s ruling

regime, and Turkey, which supports certain rebel groups – were

expected to focus on shoring up a fragile countrywide ceasefire to

enable a broader humanitarian effort in Syria.

A member of the opposition delegation, Osama Abu Zeid, told reporters

that the sides were continuing to negotiate ways to reinforce the

ceasefire regime, according to comments carried by the Interfax news

agency.

He said he expects more than just words from Russia, which has been

the main military backer of the Syrian government in the country’s

bloody civil war.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura was expected to give a press

conference later Tuesday, state news agency Kazinform reported citing

the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.

Abu Zeid told reporters that he thought the talks at the five-star

Rixos hotel in the Kazakh capital could extend to Wednesday.

The negotiations, attended by representatives of Russia, Turkey,

Iran, the US and the UN, have been working towards the potential

singing of a peace agreement, Kazinform reported.

De Mistura, who is expected to host further Syria talks in Geneva

next month, said he was optimistic about progress in Astana,

according to comments carried by Russian state news agency TASS.

“The dialogue is at least moving,” Sanat Kushkumbayev, deputy

director of the state’s Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies,

said in comments carried by Kazinform.

“There is a common saying that a bad peace is better than a good

quarrel. This was the initiative of (Russian and Turkish presidents)

Putin and Erdogan, while (Kazakh President) Nursultan Nazarbayev

supported that initiative,” Kushkumbayev said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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ASTANA, Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition forces resumed in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan on Tuesday after a rough first day in which the sides exchanged barbs but agreed on the need to maintain a ceasefire. The negotiations - brokered by Russia, which backs Syria's...