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Peace talks begin in Geneva to end the civil war in Syria

Peace talks begin in Geneva to end the civil war in Syria

Assad negotiators arrive at Syria peace talks GENEVA: Syrian government negotiators arrived in Geneva on Wednesday to join United Nations-backed peace talks to end the civil war, adamant that they will not tolerate any discussion of President Bashar al-Assad's ouster.

Delegation chief Nasr al-Hariri told the Reuters news agency on November 29 that the opposition wants Russian Federation and other states to put "more pressure" on Assad to engage in the negotiation to reach a political solution in six months.

The U.N. Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, met the eve in Geneva with representatives of the permanent members of the Security Council in order to prepare the eighth round of peace negotiations. But the United Nations announced that regime representatives would arrive on Wednesday, reportedly after securing key concessions, including keeping Assad's rule off the table.

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Following a meeting with Head of the Syria government delegation Ambassador Bashaar Ja'afari in a hotel in Geneva, who arrived in Geneva on Wednesday, de Mistura told reporters that "I just had a long, but very useful in my opinion, meeting with the delegation of the government of Syria".

Yahya Aridi, a spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Commission told Asharq Al-Awsat that the regime was now left with no other choice than to accept the political operation and to get seriously involved in it, adding that Damascus "is totally convinced that the military and security solutions it followed, have proved to be a big failure". However, opposition delegates meeting last week issued a statement repeating their demand that Assad be excluded from any transitional government, a position which Damascus and its allies say is divorced from reality on the ground.

Jaafari also presented to de Mistura a number of conditions to resuming any talks between the two sides.