NUR SULTAN, Kazakhstan
The return of Syrian refugees will be one the main agenda items during 18th Astana format talks on Syria, which will start on Wednesday in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
As guarantor countries, delegations from Türkiye, Russia and Iran will meet the Syrian regime and opposition forces during the two-day talks.
Ambassador Selcuk Unal, Turkish Foreign Ministry's director-general responsible for Syria, will represent Ankara at the meetings.
The Moscow delegation will be headed by Alexandr Lavrentyev, Russia's presidential envoy for Syria; while Ali Asghar Khaji, a senior aide to Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, will represent Tehran.
A UN delegation led by Robert Dunn, principal political affairs officer of the special envoy for Syria, a Jordanian delegation, representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross will also attend the meeting as observers.
The parties concerned will discuss issues including the conditions for the safe return of Syrian refugees, the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in Syria, the work of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, confidence-building measures, the release of hostages and the search for missing persons.
Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters with unexpected ferocity.
The Astana peace process was launched in January 2017 at the initiative of Türkiye, Russia and Iran. Its meetings also contribute to the advancement of the UN-led diplomatic process in Geneva.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan and Jeyhun AliyevAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.