The U.S. will not send an official delegation to planned Syria peace talks, it said Saturday, citing "the immediate demands of the" presidential transition.
Instead, Washington. will be represented by its Kazakhstan envoy, acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner told Anadolu Agency.
Washington was invited by Kazakhstan to attend the talks as an observer, Toner said, noting that the U.S. does "welcome and appreciate" the invitation.
Representatives from the Syrian government and opposition are set to meet Monday to reinforce a fragile cease-fire and put an end to the six-year deadlock in the country.
The peace talks will be held in the Kazakh capital of Astana.
About 50 representatives from the opposition - including advisers and negotiation members - are expected to take their seats at the negotiation table.
Following last month's cease-fire deal brokered by Turkey and Russia, the Astana meeting comes as part of ongoing efforts by both countries to find a political solution to conflict.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced.
By Michael Hernandez
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