Astana Joint Statement Stresses Firm Commitment to Syria's Territorial Integrity

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The ninth round of Syria peace talks sponsored by Iran, Russia, and Turkey began on May 14 in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.

The three countries also agreed to hold later two meetings of the working group; one in Ankara next June on the release of the kidnapped and the detainees as well as searching for the missing persons and the other is scheduled to be a high-level worldwide meeting on Syria in July in the Russian city of Sochi.

According to a joint statement issued by the tripartite countries at the 9th round of Astana talks on Syria, the third meeting of the "Working Group on the release of detainees/abductees and handover of the bodies as well as the identification of missing persons by three Guarantors' representatives with the participation of the United Nations and ICRC experts" will be held in Ankara in June 2018.

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Russia, Turkey and Iran reached on Tuesday an agreement over steps aimed at pushing forward the political settlement in Syria, while revealing that they will hold a meeting in Sochi, Russia, in July.

Latest developments in the de-escalation zone, releases of captives and hostages, and forming a constitutional committee will be on the agenda.

The Iranian and Russian delegations have also held meetings with Syrian top negotiator Bashar Jaafari.

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"The US delegation has refrained from taking part in the current round of talks on Syria in Astana", Zhainakov said.

The Turkish delegation is expected to hold a meeting later on Monday with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura regarding the establishment of a constitution committee.

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