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Syria talks start as scheduled in Geneva

UN-brokered Syria peace talks began as scheduled at Geneva's Palais de Nations on Friday.

Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura started the talks by meeting the Syrian government's delegation headed by the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN Bashar Jaafari.

However, it is still not clear if Syrian opposition members will participate in the talks. They recently called for an end to air strikes by government forces as a precursor to peace talks.

The talks strive to broker a lasting solution to the Syrian crisis which has been raging since 2011.

"The first priority will be the focus of the talks, of what most, if not all Syrians, want to hear: the possibility of a broad ceasefire and the possibility of stopping the threat of ISIL, and therefore thanks to a broad ceasefire, an increase of humanitarian aid," De Mistura told reporters earlier this week.

Despite risks and tensions, the special envoy iterated that no preconditions will be set and that given the situations and taking into account past setbacks, the time has come to produce results.

"This is not Geneva 3; this is leading to what we hope will be a Geneva success story if we are able to push it forward," he noted.

The first stages of the talks are expected to last between two to three weeks and the entire talks over six months.

[Source: Xinhua, Geneva, 29Jan16]

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small logoThis document has been published on 01Feb16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.