New Round of Syria Peace Talks to Begin in Astana

Russia's chief envoy for Syria said Moscow may host talks between Syrian groups next month with the goal of working on a new constitution for the war-battered country.

Syrian opposition groups have rejected Russian-sponsored talks scheduled for 18 November in Sochi, favouring instead a UN-led initiative in Geneva.

A seventh round of talks on bringing peace to Syria begin on Monday in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

Russian Federation says six of its long-range bombers have taken off from air bases in Russian Federation to strike targets on the border between Syria and Iraq.

Head of Iranian delegation at Astana talks Hossein Jaberi Ansari said that guarantor states agreed to set up 12 observation posts in Syria's Idlib aimed at implementing the de-escalation agreement.

"We need to get the parties into real negotiations", De Mistura told the UN Security Council last week, adding that after the defeat of the "Islamic State", the Syrian peace process had reached a "moment of truth".

Lavrentyev said another possible location for the talks is Russia's Hmeimim military base in Syria.

Vladimir Shamanov, who sits as chairman of Russian parliament's defense committee, told a meeting at the Kazakh parliament that the "major tasks" of Moscow's military campaign in Syria "have been nearly accomplished", according to Russia's state-run news agency TASS.

United Nations envoy de Mistura has announced his intention to reconvene broader Syrian peace negotiations in Geneva on November 28.

  • Rogelio Becker