• Syria peace talks resume after ceasefire


    GENEVA: Syria’s government and opposition meet Monday for a seventh round of UN-sponsored peace talks with little expectation of a breakthrough to end the six-year conflict. The talks in Geneva open after a ceasefire took effect in three provinces in southern Syria on Sunday. The ceasefire was brokered by the United States, Russia and Jordan, the latest agreement reached outside the Geneva framework. The peace process in the Swiss city has been increasingly overshadowed by a separate track organized by regime allies Russia and Iran, and rebel backer Turkey. In principle, the new round of Geneva negotiations will focus on four so-called “baskets”: a new constitution, governance, elections and combating “terrorism.” The last talks ended in May with little progress towards ending a war that has killed more than 320,000 people since it began in March 2011.



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