December 22, 2017 / 12:26 PM / 4 months ago

U.N. hails first step on Syria detainees, cautious on Sochi plan

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said Syria talks in the Kazakh capital Astana on Friday had agreed on a “working group” for the release of detainees, which he said was a commendable first step towards an arrangment between the warring sides.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.N. special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura enter a hall during a meeting in Moscow, Russia December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

He also said that Russia’s plan to convene a Syrian “congress of national dialogue” in Sochi next month should be assessed by its ability to contribute to and support the U.N.-led Geneva talks on ending the war in Syria.

Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Alison Williams

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