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Preliminary talks for fourth Astana meeting on future of Syria held in Tehran

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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The fourth Astana meeting, during which Turkey, Russia and Iran will discuss further steps to solve the Syrian crisis, is scheduled to take place May 3-4 in Kazakhstan's capital.

Preliminary talks, which serve to clarify the more technical issues, were held April 18-19 in Tehran, according to a written statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The statement said that during the preliminary round of talks, delegations from Iran, Russia and Turkey discussed issues like ceasefire arrangements and their implementation as well as the exchange of prisoners and abductees.

According to the statement, in addition to the three national missions, a UN expert delegation also attended the preparatory discussions, and the three guarantor states will hold a preparatory conference May 2.

The Astana meetings, officially called the "International Meetings on Syrian Settlement," are supported by Turkey, Iran and Russia and intend to bring both the Assad government and Syrian opposition forces together in order to work out a solution for the ongoing Syrian crisis.

According to "GeoPolMonitor," Kazakhstan was chosen as host for the summits as it is regarded a neutral country. Prior rounds of discussion had centered on efforts to implement a ceasefire in Syria according to UN resolution 2254.

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