MESOP NEWS : LAST WORDS ? Syrian Rebels May Not Attend Kazakhstan Talks

14 Febr 2017 – MESOP  – On Monday, senior Syrian opposition officials suggested that they may not attend ceasefire talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, scheduled for February 15-16. These talks – sponsored by Russia and Turkey – are being held in tandem to UN-sponsored peace talks scheduled to take place in Geneva on February 20. The Astana meeting is meant to shore up the nationwide ceasefire, which took effect in December of last year, and follows up on a previous meeting between Syrian rebel and government delegations last month. However, according to senior rebel official Mohammad al Aboud, there have been “violations in the ceasefire, and the Russians did not live up to their promises to halt these violations.” Rebel officials have also complained of Damascus’ failure to complete prisoner swaps.