The second round of the Astana talks, which was due to begin on Wednesday but got delayed as a result of certain problems, is expected to kick off on Thursday. The Syrian opposition and the Bashar Assad regime will seek ways to fully implement the nationwide cease-fire across Syria.
"The opening of the high-level meeting of the Astana process on Syria is postponed until Feb. 16, 2017, 12.00 p.m. [Astana time]," the Kazakh Foreign Ministry tweeted early Wednesday.
The meeting was delayed for technical reasons, national news agency Kazinform reported. It also said bilateral talks between the participants had begun.
In comments reported by Russia's official TASS news agency, a senior official at the Russian Foreign Ministry said there were "no breaks."
It said delegations would hold bilateral talks on Wednesday and a plenary session would be held on Thursday with the participation of all delegations.
Astana was to host talks Wednesday and Thursday with representatives of Russia, Turkey and Iran, which agreed last month to create a cease-fire monitoring group.
The January meeting in Astana saw the three countries agree on a trilateral mechanism for observing and ensuring compliance with the cease-fire, which came into effect on Dec. 30.
The discussions, which focus on extending the cease-fire, have been brokered by Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russia and Iran, who support Bashar Assad's regime.
The sides are expected to discuss violations of the cease-fire as well as improving security within Syria in a bid to pave the way for a political solution to the six-year conflict.
A U.N. delegation did not include Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Russia's Interfax news agency reported, citing the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. Mistura's spokeswoman Yara Sharif confirmed later on Wednesday that the U.N. envoy will not attend to the talks, and a five-people delegation will represent the U.N. in Astana.
Çavuşoğlu, Lavrov to meet in Munich
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will attend an international security conference in Germany on February 17, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed Wednesday that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Çavuşoğlu would meet in Munich.
Çavuşoğlu will travel to Germany to attend the 53rd Munich Security Conference, which will be held from February 17 to 19, with the participation of senior state officials, politicians, academics and international security experts, the statement said.
"Current international issues to which Turkey also attaches importance, such as Syria, counter terrorism, NATO, transatlantic relations, European Defence, migration, cyber defense and energy security will be addressed" the foreign ministry said, adding that Çavuşoğlu will deliver a speech and will also hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference.
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