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2014.01.13 07:13:54

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said Syrian peace talks will go ahead as planned in Switzerland next week, but whether the main Syrian opposition group will attend remains uncertain.

"Only a true political transition, putting an end to the present despotic regime... can lead to a true solution, and that is the aim of Geneva II," Fabius told a press conference in Paris on Sunday.

Fabius, with representatives from 11 other countries, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, attended the meeting in an effort to convince the main opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, to attend the Geneva II talks.

SNC President Ahmed Jarba didn't confirm whether his organization would attend, but reaffirmed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must be removed from power.

"The most important thing of today's meeting is that we are all in agreement that Bashar al-Assad has no future in Syria anymore," Jarba said.

The Geneva II conference is set to open in the Swiss town of Montreux on January 22.

The talks would be the first time since the war in Syria erupted in March 2011 that representatives of the Syrian government will sit down with the opposition to discuss an end to hostilities.


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