Syrian talks have kicked off in Kazakhstan's capital Astana, Tengrinews reports citing the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Kazakhstan.
The negotiations will last until May 27. According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, the situation in Syria evolved into one of the most serious conflicts in the world and stepped beyond the country's boundaries, therefore countries need to join efforts to resolve the conflict.
“Kazakhstan supports the UN-led effort of all the involved parties inside and outside of Syria to end the violence and bloodshed, overcome the humanitarian disaster and determine the political future of this country through dialogue and reconciliation," Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry declared.
The Foreign Ministry sent out invitations to all the Syrian opposition groups without exception and civil society groups, too.
The participants of the meeting are discussing delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria and development of an action plan to settle the conflict.
Syrian opposition proposed to hold talks in Astana in April's end. "We're talking about getting Kazakhstan to assist in resolving the crisis in Syria because of the role that Kazakhstan played in the world community thanks to its relationships with various countries," the leader of the Movement of the Pluralistic Society Randa Kassis said then.
In early May, Randa Kassis announced that she had a meeting with Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov and the head of the Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry's Department for Asia and Africa, during which they determined the date of the Syrian opposition meeting.
The Syrian talks have been ongoing for four years already with a sole aim of resolving the Syrian crisis that initially started as a pro-democracy revolt and turned into a multi-sided civil war after the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government responded with violent crackdowns.
It has already claimed lives of more than 200 thousand people, according to the United Nations, and forced millions of Syrians to flee their homes. Many rights groups have accused the international community of failing Syria.