TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad expressed the Damascus government’s readiness to attend an upcoming round of talks with the opposition in Kazakhstan’s Astana for the purpose of ending a civil war that has beset Syria for six years.
In a meeting with Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Damascus Azmat Berdibay on Thursday, the Syrian deputy foreign minister said the government has agreed to take part in the Astana peace talks, but ruled out “foreign interference”, according to SANA.
Mekdad expressed the hope that the Astana negotiations would bring about peace and result in the elimination of terrorism.
“We are interested in making these talks a success, and we hope to reach the expected results,” the Syrian diplomat noted.
Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria have gained momentum in recent days with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country on January 1.
The truce, which has been negotiated between Russia, Iran, Turkey, the Damascus government and the Syrian opposition, excludes terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the former al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria that used to be known as Jabhat al-Nusra.
It will be followed by a new round of peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh, currently controlling parts of it.