Kazakh Leader Says Ready To Host Russia, Iran, Turkey For Syria Talks

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev said he is ready to host talks between Russia, Iran, and Turkey on the conflict in Syria in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

"Kazakhstan is ready to host all sides for talks in Astana," Nazarbaev said on December 26 during a visit to St. Petersburg where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kazakh national news agency Kazinform reported that Nazarbaev recently spoke with the presidents of Turkey and Iran and got their agreement to the plan.

Putin said on December 23 that Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had all agreed that neutral Kazakhstan should be the venue for new Syrian peace negotiations.

Putin said the frontline countries proved their effectiveness by arranging a cease-fire and evacuation of rebel forces and civilians from Aleppo last week, and they now are ready to try to broaden the cease-fire to the whole country and launch wider peace talks.

Russia, Iran, and Turkey previously announced that they would stand as "guarantors" of any peace accord reached between the Syrian regime, which is allied with Tehran and Moscow, and rebel forces, many of which are allied with Turkey.

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