Second day of Syria peace talks begins in Astana:

Asia Middle East Forum

A fifth round of peace talks aimed at ending the Syria conflict entered their second day on Wednesday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

“Negotiations have begun. Currently, there are bilateral meetings between the negotiators,” Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry spokesman Anuar Zhainakov was quoted as saying by national news agency Kazinform.

Representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, the three guarantor countries — Russia, Turkey, and Iran –, the UN Special Representative for Syria Staffan de Mistura, as well as delegations from Jordan and the U.S. are attending.

Zhainakov said their main agenda item was to define the boundaries of de-escalation zones in Syria.

At the fourth round of Astana talks on May 4, the three guarantor countries signed a deal to establish these special areas.

However, it was reported on Tuesday that regime warplanes struck the city of Douma, east of Damascus, which lies within one of the de-escalation zones, according…

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