SYRIA PEACE TALKS BEGIN IN KAZAKHSTAN

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Representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups have gathered in the Kazakh capital Astana to hold peace talks, with senior diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey mediating the process.

The two-day talks are slated to begin at 13:00 local time (07:00 GMT).
The negotiations, which are backed by the UN, will be held behind closed doors.
On the eve of the negotiations, delegates from the three countries held long-hours talks in Astana. They discussed the direction of the negotiations, including the order in which the oppositionists will be attending.
The talks will be followed with further UN-monitored negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 8.

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