Syria to send its UN envoy, military delegation to talks

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People walk next to a destroyed building in the once rebel-held Shaar neighborhood in the eastern Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Parts of the once rebel-held eastern neighborhoods in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo are returning to normal nearly three weeks after opposition fighters left the city to the suburbs. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria will send its U.N. ambassador and a military delegation to Russian and Turkish-brokered talks with the armed opposition next week.

The negotiations represent the latest attempt to resolve the six-year-old conflict.

A Syrian official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, said Wednesday that U.N. ambassador Bashar Ja’afari will head the delegation.

The talks are to begin Monday in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, and will include members of Syria’s armed opposition. It’s not clear if the government and the rebels will meet face-to-face.

The last round of talks, indirect negotiations mediated by the U.N., broke down nearly a year ago.

Moscow has suggested inviting representatives from the incoming Trump administration to Astana. Iran, which is also taking part, is opposed to U.S. participation.

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