Soldiers of pro-government militia are pictured in Aleppo, Syria, on Dec. 11, 2016. (Xinhua/Yang Zhen)
DAMASCUS, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Prime Minister Imad Khamis said Sunday that his government is serious about the imminent Syrian talks in Astana, noting that Damascus welcomes any initiative to restore peace, according to pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV.
Khamis's remarks came as the Syrian delegation to the inter-Syrian Astana meeting flew on Sunday to the Kazakh capital to take part in the Monday meeting, which will put the government delegation with the rebels face to face for the first time in the country's nearly six-year-old conflict.
The prime minister said the priority of the meeting is to kick the foreign terrorists out of Syria.
He noted that the talks will be completely Syrian-Syrian without mediators.
Khamis said his government welcomes any initiative that could be conducive in restoring peace and security to Syria.
The talks in Astana are the result of a Russian-Turkish understanding, which started with a ceasefire in the country, which excluded terror-designated groups such as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS) group.
A day earlier, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that establishing a ceasefire in Syria is the priority of the imminent Syrian negotiations in Astana.
Assad said everything will be discussed in the talks slated for Jan. 23 in the Kazakh capital, and it must rely on the Syrian constitution.
Assad said it was not clear yet whether the conference will tackle any political dialogue, noting that it wasn't clear which parties will participate.
He said the conference will be in the shape of negotiations between the government and the rebel groups to reach a ceasefire and allow the rebels to join the reconciliation deals with the government.