Despite several weeks of complaining about the ongoing ceasefire, the Syrian rebels’ High Negotiations Committee (HNC), a Saudi-backed faction, will be attending and participating in next Monday’s peace talks in the city as Astana, Kazakhstan.
Rebels had been meeting in Ankara, Turkey to decide whether or not to participate in the talks, and ultimately agreed to attend, with Mohammad Alloush, a leader of Jaish al-Islam who had previously served as a senior HNC negotiator, will be leading the delegation.
The talks are being put together by Turkey and Russia as part of the ceasefire’s progression. The Syrian government had already agreed to attend, with President Bashar al-Assad saying everything about the future of Syria was up for negotiation, and that he was open to holding a constitutional referendum to revise the law as part of settling the war.
This puts the Astana talks far ahead of any previous talks on ending the Syrian Civil War, as previous attempts never successfully began with everyone willing to come to the table at all, and most collapsed in the course of trying to get everyone to agree to discuss anything.