Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, has received Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, Deputy Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday.

 

“During the conversation, the two sides exchanged views in detail on the situation in and around Syria with an emphasis on the upcoming international meeting on the Syrian settlement in Astana on January 23,” the ministry said.

 

UN Secretary General’s Deputy Spokesman, Farhan Haq, earlier confirmed to TASS that the UN had received an official invitation to the talks in Astana. He said Staffan de Mistura had formed a delegation that would be led by his deputy, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy.

 

Astana will host the talks on the situation in Syria on January 23. They are to focus on issues of maintaining ceasefire throughout the country, humanitarian assistance and prisoner release. Plans to hold consultations in Astana were announced after a meeting between Russia’s, Turkey’s and Iran’s foreign ministers in Moscow on December 20, 2016. The three ministers spoke in favor of a nationwide ceasefire in Syria.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on December 29 that an agreement on a ceasefire in Syria had been reached and that the government and the opposition were ready to start negotiations.