Delegations ready to begin Syrian peace talks in Astana on Monday

Delegations ready to begin Syrian peace talks in Astana on Mondayā€¯

Delegations form the Syrian government and the opposition will start the negotiations in Astana on Monday with representatives from Iran, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations in attendance.

"Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria..."

The peace talks will be held in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

It is unclear if the talks need to be extended for a day more.

Participation confirmations have been received from the Syrian government and militants, from Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

The Astana talks are brokered by Russian Federation and Turkey, and unsurprisingly, the rebel delegation is overwhelmingly made up of Turkey-backed rebel groups, while the US-backed and Saudi-backed groups are taking a back seat, if they're sending anyone at all.

Last December 29, Russian Federation and Turkey brokered a ceasefire agreement between the Syrian government and the opposition factions, including 13 groups from Free Syrian Army.

Washington was invited by Kazakhstan to attend the talks as an observer, Toner said, noting that the USA does "welcome and appreciate" the invitation. The new USA administration is not directly involved because of the "immediate demands of the transition", the state department said on Saturday, but Washington will be represented by U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol.

All sides, including a USA -led worldwide coalition, say they are targeting terrorist groups inside Syria such as Islamic State and al-Qaida affiliates, who have not been invited to the peace talks and are not subject to the ceasefire.

Fighting between moderate and extremist-linked rebel groups has hampered efforts to form a more cohesive moderate coalition opposed to Assad.

The Syrian opposition is sending a delegation of some 50 members. But some in the opposition have expressed concerns Damascus is looking to negotiate a political solution with only the Turkey-backed opposition in attendance.

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