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Preparations for Astana Syrian Peace Talks Moving Forward

Jan. 14, 2017 (EIRNS)—Preparations are proceeding apace for the Syrian peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan being organized by Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran.

While the Obama State Department has not received an invitation, it is reported that the transition team of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has been invited, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The invitation was extended to Trump’s designated National Security Advisor, Michael T. Flynn, in a Dec. 28 phone call to Flynn by Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador in Washington.

The Washington Post reported that should the invitation be accepted, it would possibly speak for

"enhanced U.S.-Russia cooperation that President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump have forecast under a Trump administration."

The Post also said the Obama administration had been "pointedly excluded" from the talks in Astana. The anonymous source added that "no decision was made" during the call and that "I don’t have anything additional on U.S. attendance at this time."

Meanwhile officials from Turkey, Russia, and Iran met in Moscow yesterday to prepare for the conference according to a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement reported by Hürriyet Daily News. Participants included Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister; Sergey Vershinin, Director of the Russian MFA Department for Middle East and North Africa; Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister; and Sedat Onal, Turkish Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.