Russia invites Trump aides to Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan

By bne IntelliNews January 18, 2017

Russia has invited incoming U.S. President Donald Trump to send aides to the planned Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, Bloomberg reported on January 17, citing Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

According to Lavrov, the invitation follows Trump stating that one of his priorities is fighting terrorism without applying “double standards” on the issue, the report said. Iranian officials, who along with Turkey will also be attending the talks, are not, however, happy about the invitation. "We have not invited them, and we are against their presence," Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on January 17, Reuters reported.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has, meanwhile, implied that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia’s role in the Syrian conflict was “destructive”.

The peace talks have been scheduled for January 23. Both the Syrian government and the rebel groups will attend the peace talks.

The hosting plans have been drawn up in line with Kazakhstan’s 2017-2018 non-permanent UN Security Council (UNSC) membership.

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