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    General view of United Nations (U.N.) Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura attending a meeting on Syria with representatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council (P5) at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 13, 2016

    Riyadh-Formed Syrian Opposition Threatens to Drop Out of Geneva Talks

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    The head of the High Negotiations Committee said that the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition group will leave Geneva, the venue of intra-Syrian talks, if the Syrian government "continues to kill civilians".

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — The Saudi-backed Syrian opposition delegation will leave Geneva, the venue of intra-Syrian talks, if the Syrian government "continues to kill civilians," the head of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said in a statement Saturday.

    The opposition delegation flew into the Swiss city earlier in the day for UN-mediated peace talks with government representatives. The ultimate goal is to end an almost five-year-long war in Syria and launch a transition period that will end in elections.

    "The presence of the delegation in Geneva is linked to the improvement of the humanitarian situation, and not to the negotiating process," HNC’s Riad Hijab was cited in the statement as saying.

    The Riyadh-formed opposition delegation, headed by Assad Zaouri, is expected to hold a meeting with UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura on Sunday. HNC previously conditioned its attendance on the Syrian government stopping alleged bombardment of civilians and lifting siege off rebel-hold towns.


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