U.S. and Russia agree: Syria peace talks ‘must go forward’

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U.N. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shaking hand with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. File photo

ARA News 

DAMASCUS – U.S. and Russia agreed on Thursday that Syria peace talks, expected on Jan. 25, must go forward ‘without preconditions’, the U.S. State Department said.

The United Nations-facilitated peace talks are expected to take place on Jan. 25 in Geneva, involving delegations from the Syrian government and opposition factions in order to reach a solution for the five-year-long conflict.

U.N. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed ‘deep concern’ over attacks on civilians in Syria, in a telephone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday. 

On Wednesday, the U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said that Syria peace talks were still planned to start in Geneva on Jan. 25.

De Mistura’s statement came after meeting representatives of the United States, Russia and other major powers to discuss the upcoming Syria peace talks between the regime and opposition forces. 

“This meeting was essential in order to move forward on the Geneva talks, and there are issues still, and very much at stake, that’s why I needed to consult them,” he said. 

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi

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