World Bulletin / News Desk
Kazakhstan on Saturday expressed readiness to consider the possibility of hosting Syria peace talks to end the long-standing crisis, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.
Astana is ready to consider the possibility of a meeting to host talks on Syria crisis if a proposal goes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan told the RIA Novosti.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have reached an agreement to work on launching a new series of peace talks between the Syrian regime and opposition.
Putin told a press conference in Tokyo that the next step for “normalization” in the war-torn country was to reach an agreement on a nationwide ceasefire.
Putin added that if the regime and opposition agree to the proposal, "we will ask Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to back this process."
Speaking to TRT Haber channel, Erdogan's aide Ibrahim Kalin "this is not an alternative to the Geneva talks, but perhaps a process can be initiated in coordination with Geneva talks."
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN. The Syrian Center for Policy Research, however, put the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.