MESOP NEWS “FIN DE PARTIE”: Syria rebels will not attend Astana peace talks

AFP – 14 March 2017 – Syrian rebel factions will not attend a new round of negotiations with government figures in the Kazakh capital, an opposition delegation spokesman told AFP on Monday.“Rebel groups have decided not to participate in Astana,” said Osama Abu Zeid, saying one reason for the boycott was “unfulfilled pledges related to the cessation of hostilities.”“We are awaiting confirmations from the other parties to the meeting,” Abdrakhmanov told parliament, adding that delegations had already started arriving in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

Syrian rebel groups called last week for the postponement of the talks and said further meetings would depend on whether the government and its allies adhered to a newly declared March 7-20 ceasefire.

The third round of talks in Astana, brokered by government ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey, is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

The previous meetings aimed to shore up a widely violated ceasefire between the sides that was brokered in December by Russia and Turkey, which backs the rebels.

Last Update: Monday, 13 March 2017 KSA 13:55 – GMT 10:55