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Russian Federation is sending presidential envoy Alexander Lavrentiev, Iran is dispatching Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari, while Turkey will likely send a Foreign Ministry department head to the Astana talks, according to officials.

"The negotiations have been moved to February 16 for technical reasons", a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told AFP news agency by telephone without elaboration.

The next round of Astana talks will discuss observance of the ceasefire and stabilisation measures for specific areas and other "practical steps" ahead of the talks in Geneva, Kazakhstan said.

A subsequent statement from the foreign ministry said the talks would begin at 0600 GMT on Thursday.

The worldwide meeting began on January 23 with the participation of a number of delegations, including armed opposition, Damascus, Russia, Iran, and Turkey.

"That is the agenda and we will not change it, otherwise we open up a Pandora's box", said de Mistura, whose attempts to apply the same agenda to talks a year ago drew a sharp rebuke from Damascus.

During the meeting with representatives of both delegations in attendance, the two sides exchanged views on the latest developments on Astana talks process and the agenda for the second round of the global meeting aimed at finding a political solution for the Syrian crisis.

The Riyadh-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) is intentionally trying to impede the formation of a single Syrian opposition delegation for the upcoming Geneva talks to ruin intra-Syrian negotiations, a Syrian opposition figure told Sputnik Wednesday.

The meeting - pushed by key government supporter Moscow - is viewed as a warm-up for UN-led negotiations on the protracted war, which are due to begin in Geneva on 23 February. Turkey has sent a lower-level delegation to the talks, compared with the previous round, because some senior diplomats were accompanying President Tayyip Erdogan on a foreign visit, Lavrentiev said.

"Part of the Syrian political opposition does not make independent decisions".


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