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Syria Peace Talks Delayed Until Thursday

  • VOA News

FILE - A resident walks in a street in Astana, Kazakhstan. The focus of the talks in Astana is a partial cease-fire that went into effect at the end of December.

A round of Syria peace talks scheduled to begin Wednesday in Kazakhstan has been delayed until Thursday.

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry did not offer an explanation for the change.

The focus of the talks in Astana is a partial cease-fire that went into effect at the end of December. At a previous meeting in Astana in January, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to serve as the monitors for the cease-fire.

The Astana process has notably left out the United States, which in earlier years of the Syrian conflict often partnered with Russia in efforts to push the Syrian government and rebels toward negotiations for peace.

The United Nations plans to being its next round of negotiations next week aimed at finding an actual end to the nearly six years of fighting in Syria.

Previous efforts, which have involved indirect negotiations brokered by the U.N.'s envoy for Syria, resulted in little progress to resolve a war that began as peaceful protests against Assad before spiraling into a multi-party conflict.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died since March 2011, and according to the United Nations nearly 5 million people have fled the country while another 6 million are displaced within Syria.

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