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Elections in Syria would derail peace talks, warns UN's chief mediator

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Elections in Syria would derail peace talks, warns UN's chief mediator

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The UN has warned any elections in Syria are likely to scupper already fragile peace talks.

President Bashar al-Assad has not yet said if he will run for a third term, but with signs poll preparations have begun, the UN’s Syrian mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said that a ballot would doom talks.

‘‘There are a lot of activities that seem to indicate that there is an election. If there is an election, my suspicion is that the opposition, all the oppositions, will probably not be interested in talking to the government,’‘ Brahimi said.

The UN has urged a return to the stalled negotiations between the Assad regime and opposition groups, describing the war in Syria as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. In a report released on Friday, the body’s refugee agency said four out of ten Syrians had been uprooted by the conflict since it began three years ago.

Ahead of the official commemoration this Sunday to mark the third anniversary of Syria’s civil war, ceremonies have already begun taking place across the world. In Amsterdam, a candle-lit vigil was held to show solidarity with the Syrian people.