Russia hopes that the Syrian armed opposition will take part in the upcoming talks in Astana on the crisis settlement in Syria, however its delegation has not been formed yet, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Saturday.
“We expect that they [the Syrian armed opposition] will arrive [at the talks]… We do not have a composition of their delegation yet,” Bogdanov said.

The official also did not exclude that UN Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura could arrive in Moscow in the near future to discuss the Syria crisis.

Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana hosted three rounds of talks on Syrian settlement brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran, held on January 23-24, February 15-16, March 14-15 with the next round scheduled for May 3-4. During the talks, the participants agreed to set up a ceasefire monitoring group, among other issues.

Moreover, the next round of the talks in Geneva on the Syrian crisis settlement may take place in the middle of May, however the date has not been set yet, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov added.
“Not yet,” the official said answering whether the date for the talks had been set.

“There was De Mistura’s idea that [the meeting] must take place after Astana talks, but before the start of the Ramadan, which means somewhere in the middle of May [the new Geneva round could take place], ” Bodganov said.

The next round of Astana talks on Syria is scheduled to take place on May 3-4.

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