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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian Rebels: Government, Russia Responsible if Talks Fail

by VOA News January 23, 2016

Syrian opposition said Saturday that it is "impossible" to start negotiations with the government before the implementation of U.N. resolutions on humanitarian issues.

A joint statement signed by 45 opposition and rebel groups said that while they support a political process, they hold Syrian government and Russia responsible for any failure of peace talks to end the country's civil war, due to their "ongoing crimes."

Peace talks at risk

The latest round of Syria peace talks are scheduled to begin on Monday in Geneva. However, the talks are at risk of being delayed partly because of a dispute over who should be in the opposition delegation.

Opposition groups have denounced Russia for dictating conditions for their participation in the Geneva talks. They say will not take part in talks while Syrians die from blockades and Russian and government airstrikes.

Moscow is a key ally of the Syrian government and has been carrying out airstrikes against insurgents since Sept. 30.

Biden in Turkey

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said after meeting with Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution against Islamic State in Syria should the Syrian government and rebels fail to reach a political settlement.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday he was confident the Syria peace talks would proceed.

Kerry made his comments after holding talks with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in Saudi Arabia.



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