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Syria government may attend Geneva peace talks with opposition

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Syria government may attend Geneva peace talks with opposition
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Russia says the Syrian government has agreed in principle to attend a peace conference in Geneva next month.

The talks are being set up by Russia and the US with the aim of bringing Syria’s government and opposition together.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

Moscow is continuing to stress any insistence from the opposition that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad go is not helpful.

Referring to this stipulation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said: “The meetings in Madrid and Istanbul were not promising. They (the opposition) put forward a pre-condition of resignation of the President and shaping a “government” under the UN supervision.”

The opposition are questioning the effect of any government presence in Geneva.

“We would like to know whether this delegation is empowered to make decisions including the transfer of power to this interim government, the transitional government, that is fully powered to make decisions. That is not clear,” said Louay Safi, a member of the Syrian National Coalition.

For the moment, the majority of the fighting is taking place in the strategic town of Qusayr near the border with Lebanon.

The UN has warned there could be three million Syrian refugees by 2014.