>> Syria's warring sides coming together for talks in the Kazakh capital Astana on Monday. But expectations of a breakthrough are low. With Syrian rebels saying they'll only talk to the government side through intermediaries and no senior government figures in the delegations. But it's the first time they've sat down together since UN brokered talks in Geneva broke down early last year.
So that's already progress says Reuters
].>> The main achievement for the sponsors of the negotiations Russia, Turkey and Iran seems to be just getting them to sit down at one table. All parties to the talks have played down the amount of progress than can be achieved.>> Both sides to the six-year old conflict flanked by their international supporters, and at odds over whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, bolstered by re-taking Aleppo from the rebels in December should stay on or step down.
The political nitty gritty unlikely to even make it onto the agenda of the two day talks. Instead, baby steps towards bolstering a floundering cease fire and beginning to overcome mistrust.>> The main achievement of the negotiations here could be>> Consolidating and establishing firmly the ceasefire. And also establishing which particular rebel groups are going to be involved in the process.
>> The United Nations, hoping the Astana talks could jumpstart direct UN led negotiations. The talks billed as, at best, a first step on a long and rocky road.