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Syrian opposition seeks direct Geneva talks with regime

Syrian opposition seeks direct Geneva talks with regime
From Al Jazeera - December 13, 2017

The Syrian opposition has said it wants direct talks with the government, as it attends a fresh round of meetings in Geneva to discuss political transition.

Al Jazeera's Maan Khader, reporting from the Swiss city, said that the Syrian opposition perceives what was left of the Geneva talks as an opportunity to engage in direct negotiation with the government.

The opposition pledged to take the matter seriously in remarks after the UN envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, conveyed the government's refusal to engage in direct negotiations until the topic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fate was off the table.

De Mistura mediated between the two sides andproposed to move discussions on the Syrian constitution and possible elections to a conference scheduled to take place in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, early next year.

But when asked of the upcoming event, opposition spokesperson Firas al-Khaldi told Al Jazeera that the group was not interested in discussing the Sochi conference's agenda.

It further pointed out that it would only partake in the Sochi conference if its agenda included a plan to achieve political transition, to guarantee the return of Syrian refugees, and to look into the question of detainees in government-held prisons.

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