A general view taken on December 21, 2017 shows Astana's Rixos President Hotel, the venue for Syria peace talks. AFP / Alexey FILIPPOV
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The main powerbrokers in Syria's nearly seven-year conflict were heading towards a second day of negotiations in Astana as uncertainly loomed Thursday over a Moscow-driven plan to quickly reach a political settlement.The United Nations' special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has refused to say if the UN will back a plan promoted by Syrian President Bashar Assad but viewed warily by opponents of his government.Speaking after the first day of talks Thursday, Lavrentyev said "quite a lot of time" had been spent discussing the congress proposal at negotiations being brokered by Syria's allies Russia and Iran, as well as by Turkey, which supports the rebels. A 20-member opposition delegation was attending the talks in Astana, along with representatives of the Syrian government and of Russia, Iran and Turkey.
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