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    Free Syrian Army fighters fire an anti-aircraft weapon towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Handarat area, north of Aleppo November 30, 2014

    Moscow to Mediate Talks Between Syrian Gov't, Opposition in January: Source

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    Negotiations between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition are expected to be held in Moscow in January, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, December 24 (Sputnik) — Four-day negotiations between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition are scheduled for the end of January in Moscow, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    "The meeting will be held in late January. It is planned that it will last four days," the source said, adding that representatives from a wide spectrum of the Syrian opposition will be invited to talks in Moscow.

    Russia has repeatedly insisted on the recommencement of reconciliation talks between opposing parties in Syria.

    In October, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on all states neighboring Syria to participate in talks on the settlement of the country's crisis, including Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon.

    In mid-December, Moscow offered to host a conference to put an end to the Syrian civil war.

    The Syrian government, opposition forces and international mediators took part in two previous rounds of peace negotiations held in Geneva in 2012 and 2014. However, they failed to reach a peaceful settlement to the political crisis the country is facing.

    The Syrian civil war broke out in 2011 following anti-government protests and has claimed the lives of almost 200,000 people, according to UN estimates. For over three years the Syrian Army has been fighting against various insurgent groups, including the Islamic State.


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