Monday 22 May 2017

Syria peace talks begin in Geneva

An overview of the room where U.N. mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura and the Syrian delegation lead by Syrian Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar al Jaafari opened the Syrian peace talks at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
An overview of the room where U.N. mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura and the Syrian delegation lead by Syrian Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar al Jaafari opened the Syrian peace talks at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Press Association

Indirect peace talks aimed at resolving Syria's five-year conflict have begun at the UN headquarters in Geneva, without the participation of the main opposition group.

Friday's talks are the first since two rounds of negotiations collapsed in 2014. Syria's conflict has killed more than 250,000 people.

The main opposition delegation has said it will not participate without an end to the government and Russian bombardment of civilians and a lifting of sieges in rebel-held areas.

The meetings are part of a process outlined in a UN resolution last month that envisages an 18-month timetable for a political transition in Syria.

The first meeting is between the UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura and a government delegation headed by the country's ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja'afari.

Press Association

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