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    Riad Hijab, chief coordinator High Negotiations Committee (HNC) addresses a news conference aside of Syria peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland, April 19, 2016.

    Paris Hopes for Continuation of Intra-Syrian Talks, Truce Implementation

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    France hopes that all the conditions necessary for the continuation of intra-Syrian negotiations will be met soon and the talks will continue, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Late on Monday, the Riyadh-backed Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) announced it was putting its formal participation in the proximity discussions with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government on hold in protest to the new wave of violence in the country, near the northern city of Aleppo, and the worsening situation with humanitarian aid access.

    "We wish the conditions were quickly met to allow the continuation of intra-Syrian negotiations," Aurelien Del Fiol said, adding that "for this, it is important that the ceasefire is respected."

    "This also presupposes that the regime allows humanitarian access, stops besieging hundreds of thousands of Syrians and ends arbitrary detention of thousands of people in its jails, including women and children," the ministry's spokesman said.

    After the Riyadh-backed Syrian opposition postponed participation in the intra-Syrian peace talks, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said he would continue "technical" discussions with HNC delegates by phone or off-site in hope of finalizing a blueprint for a political transition in Syria aimed at ending the country's devastating five-year war.

    The new round of intra-Syrian talks began in Geneva on April 13. This round was supposed to focus on Syria's political transition and governance. On Monday, after several days of discussions, de Mistura acknowledged a remaining gap between the HNC and Damascus on the issue. While the HNC wants no role for Assad in the transitional governing body, the Damascus delegation is insisting on a "broad-based government."

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    talks, ceasefire, Aurelien Del Fiol, Syria
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