Syrian rebels say talks will focus on strengthening truce

UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura's office said that delegations representing the Syrian government and the opposition are set to arrive in Geneva around

Russia, Turkey and Iran sponsored in January the first direct negotiation between military formations and the Syrian government in this city and agreed to establish a tripartite mechanism to control ceasefire.

He also said de Mistura's absence had been expected.

Moscow has invited the United States to participate as an observer but the US Department of State has yet to confirm Washington will be involved.

Turkey, which has been a major supporter of the rebellion against Assad, has jointly brokered with Russian Federation a ceasefire to pave the way for the talks.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Muslit said the HNC sought to start the negotiations by discussing a governing body to oversee what he said was a transition of power.

While diplomacy has failed, the Syrian government has been working to conclude local agreements to pacify rebellious areas, typically after insurgents have been defeated.

According to the source, the following issues are on the agenda of the talks: implementation of the ceasefire regime in Syria, agreeing the provision on a joint operational group and other documents related to the districts and zones that joined the ceasefire regime.

Rebels will send the same delegation to Thursday's talks, headed by Mohammad Alloush of the Islam Army rebel group.

A new round of Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana - led by Russia, Turkey and Iran and scheduled to begin 15 February - are being delayed by a day due to unexplained "technical reasons", the Kazakh foreign affairs ministry said on Wednesday.

"We will see the result of this in the coming days because it is important that the government doesn't have the alibi of saying "I don't know who is the opposition".

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