Syria peace talks open in the Kazakh capital bringing together for the first time the opposition and representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since United Nations-brokered negotiations in Geneva were suspended early last year. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Syria's warring sides are meeting in Kazakhstan's capital on Monday (January 23) with Russia, Turkey and Iran, sponsors of the talks, trying to make progress towards a goal others have repeatedly failed to reach: an end to the six-year-old conflict. The talks are the first time the opposition and representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have come together since United Nations-brokered negotiations in Geneva were suspended early last year. Opening the talks, Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kairan Abdrakhmanov read the address to the talks' participants be the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. "Today's meeting is a clear manifestation of the international community's efforts directed to peaceful settlement of the situation in Syria. Kazakhstan believes that the only way to find the solution to the Syrian crisis is through negotiations based on mutual trust and understanding," the address said. But the talks are already experiencing a set back with the Syrian opposition delegation saying it would only discuss ways to salvage a fragile Russian-Turkish ceasefire it sees as having been violated chiefly by Iranian-backed militias in Syria.