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Armed Syrian opposition to continue Astana talks participation Thursday

The Syrian armed opposition will continue its participation in Astana talks on Syria on Thursday, a source in one of the delegations who met with the opposition told Sputnik.

"Syrian opposition will return to participate in negotiations in Astana, " the source said following reports the previous day that the delegation had "suspended" its participation.

The so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said on Wednesday the opposition would halt its participation in the latest round of the Astana peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the deadly conflict in the Arab country.

SNC spokesman Ahmad Ramadan said on Wednesday that the opposition delegation is suspending the meetings over alleged airstrikes on civilians.

The suspension will continue until shelling stops across all Syria," he added.

The move came hours after the fourth round of the talks, mediated by Iran, Russia and Turkey, began with a series of bilateral meetings in the Kazakh capital earlier in the day.

"I hope that tomorrow the opposition will again take part (in the talks)," Tumatov said.

The Astana discussions were set to focus on a Russian plan to resolve the Syria crisis that began in March 2011.

The plan calls for the creation of "de-escalation zones" in militant-held areas in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Homs as well as the Eastern Ghouta region near the Syrian capital, Damascus, AFP reported, citing a version of the initiative provided by a source close to the opposition.

The Russian proposal seeks to "put an immediate end to the violence" gripping Syria and "provide the conditions for the safe, voluntary return of refugees".

Source: Al Alam

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