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General

Russia, Turkey, Iran Begin Second Round Of Syria Talks

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry says Russia, Turkey, and Iran have begun meeting to discuss mechanisms to monitor the cease-fire they brokered in Syria.

The ministry said representatives from the United Nations and Jordan are also expected to attend the sessions in Astana.

The meeting represents the second round of talks in the Kazakh capital on the war in Syria.

The first round on January 23-24 failed to make progress toward a political settlement of the 6-year-old civil war, but the sides did agree to create a mechanism, called the Joint Operational Group (JOG), to monitor the fragile cease-fire in Syria.

The JOG includes experts from the three co-sponsoring countries.

Moscow and Tehran back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government in the civil war, while Ankara supports the opposition.

An estimated 300,000 Syrians have been killed and millions have been displaced since 2011.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.


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