NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – The twelfth round of Syrian talks of the Astana format started on 25 April in the capital of Kazakhstan – Nur-Sultan. The high-level negotiations will take two days.

According to the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan, all participants of Syrian talks – 12 arrived to Nur-Sultan: the delegation of the Syrian government and the armed opposition, as well as the delegation from the states – guarantors of Russia, Iran and Turkey. In addition, the delegation of Jordan as an observer, representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Special envoy of the UN Secretary-General Geir O. Pedersen is also expected to arrive on 25 April.

According to Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry, consultations of the states-guarantors of the Astana Process and Pease For Syria meetings with representatives of the observer parties are scheduled for on 25 April and the final plenary meeting will be held on 26 April.

Two years ago, Kazakhstan, as a neutral and non-negative country from both sides of the conflict, came up with the initiative to provide its platform for resolving the Syrian conflict.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Astana format had proved its effectiveness in practice. He recalled that de-escalation zones were created in the Syrian Arab Republic as a result of decisions that were taken at meetings in the Kazakh capital.

The negotiators of the Astana process will discuss during these two days: the situation in the province of Idlib and in northeastern Syria; measures to further strengthen trust between the parties to the conflict; facilitating the return of refugees and internally displaced persons; rectification of the humanitarian situation and post-conflict rehabilitation of the country.

Negotiators are also expected to discuss the issue of forming and launching a constitutional committee on Syria. It is possible that the parties will also discuss the issue of joining new observer states to the negotiations.

In addition, the issue of the release of detainees and hostages, the transfer of the bodies of the dead and the search for the missing will also be discussed in Nur-Sultan.

Last year, the main theme of Syrian talks – 11 was the question of the formation of a constitutional commission and the situation in the de-escalation zone in the Idlib region. The states- guarantors also strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria.