The United States accused the Syrian government of trying to “disrupt” peace talks after the latter declared the departure of President Bashar al-Assad was a “red line” that was not open for discussion.
Speaking as the opposing delegations arrived in Geneva for a fresh round of negotiations due to begin today, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, warned Damascus against trying to “act as a spoiler”. He called on Mr Assad’s backers, Russia and Iran, to ensure that the government was “living up” to what had been agreed.
The latest round of talks in Switzerland coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Syrian uprising, which began in March 2011 with peaceful protests but later descended into an armed conflict that has claimed at least a quarter of a million lives.
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