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Syria govt. ready to resume peace talks: Official

24 July 2016 15:32

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A Syrian government official say Damascus is prepared to restart United Nations-brokered negotiations aimed at resolving the crisis in the Middle Eastern country.

“Syria… is ready to continue the Syrian-Syrian dialogue without any preconditions… and without foreign interference, with the support of the United Nations,” SANA news agency quoted the Foreign Ministry official as saying on Sunday.

The official further said that the Syrian government was intent on finding a political solution to the conflict gripping the Arab state.

Earlier this week, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expressed hope that a new round of intra-Syrian peace talks will be held in Geneva in August.

The latest round of the indirect UN-mediated negotiations between Syria’s warring sides began in Geneva on April 13.

However, the talks were brought to a halt after the main foreign-backed opposition group walked out of the discussions and declared a “new war” on the government.

People inspect damage at a site hit by shelling by militants at government-held areas of Aleppo, July 11, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

 

A “cessation of hostilities” brokered by the US and Russia went into effect in Syria on February 27, but it does not apply to the Nusra Front and Daesh terrorist groups.

Despite the ceasefire, fighting still rages on in some parts of Syria, particularly around the city of Aleppo.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy since March 2011.

According to De Mistura, over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in the Middle Eastern state, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

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