Astana: Today, December 21, the eighth round of negotiations on Syria will begin in the framework of the Astana process, which will be held in the capital of Kazakhstan until December 22.
"During the upcoming talks, the parties plan to adopt a provision on a working group on the release of detainees, the transfer of bodies of the deceased and the search for missing persons. The participants also intend to discuss the functioning of de-escalation zones and approve a joint statement on humanitarian demining in Syria, including UNESCO facilities," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan said.
The Russian delegation is headed by the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, Turkey - Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, Iran - Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari.
Delegations from the government of Syria and the Syrian opposition, the United Nations, the observer countries of the United States and Jordan will also participate in the upcoming meeting.
Following the outcome of the seventh round of meetings in October, the guarantor countries adopted a joint statement, which notes the need for the conflicting parties to take measures to build confidence, including the release of detainees, in order to create better conditions for the political process and a sustained cease-fire. The parties also noted the progress in the fight against international terrorism as a result of the functioning of the de-escalation zones and agreed to discuss the proposal to convene the National Dialogue Congress in accordance with the Geneva process under the aegis of the United Nations.