Delegations of the Syrian opposition confirm on Wednesday (Sep. 13) their participation in the sixth round of the Syrian negotiations in the Kazakh capital Astana, scheduled on 14 and 15 September.
The Free Syrian Army’s Chief of Staff Brigadier General Ahmad Bari, said in an exclusive statement to Orient Net the delegation of the Syrian opposition would participate in meetings of Thursday and Friday.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif headed to Russia’s Black Sea resort town of Sochi, where he expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Zarif’s talks with the Russian leadership would focus on Syria as well as "the Middle East in general, issues related to Iran’s nuclear program, and the situation in Iraq."
Experts from Russia, Turkey, and Iran arrived in Astana ahead of the two-day talks and were holding consultations there on September 13.
Assad UN ambassador, Bashar al-Jaafari, and an Assad delegation also arrived in Kazakhstan’s capital on September 13 for the Astana talks, which would include an observer mission from the United States.
The US delegation is headed by David Satterfield, the US acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.
The US State Department said Satterfield would "reinforce US support for all efforts to achieve a sustainable de-escalation of violence and provision of unhindered humanitarian aid."
But it said Washington "remains concerned with Iran’s involvement as a so-called ’guarantor’ of the Astana process."
It says Iran’s "activities in Syria and unquestioning support" for Bashar Assad’s regime "have perpetuated the conflict and increased the suffering of ordinary Syrians."
According to Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry, the meeting is expected to focus on how to regulate the operations of "de-escalation forces in Syria and formation of the control forces in Idlib," a Syrian city bordering Turkey.