04:34 GMT +318 February 2018
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    US Secretary of State John Kerry

    US Welcomes Syrian Opposition Decision to Attend Geneva Peace Talks

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    US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States commends the announcement by the Syrian opposition to participate in the Geneva peace talks.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States commends the announcement by the Syrian opposition to participate in the Geneva peace talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

    "The United States welcomes the important decision by the High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian opposition to attend negotiations hosted by the United Nations in Geneva," Kerry stated on Friday.

    Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee reportedly announced earlier on Friday its decision to attend the Geneva talks after receiving US and UN guarantees.

    Earlier in the day, the United Nations announced that the intra-Syrian talks had started with a meeting between UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura and the Syrian government delegation headed by the country's ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari.

    De Mistura said Friday that he expected his talks with the delegation of the Syrian opposition formed during the Riyadh conference to start as early as on January 31. However, the official noted that there had still been no official confirmation of the opposition attending the talks.

    The UN Security Council resolution 2254 adopted on December 18 stipulated the January launch of the talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in order to settle the ongoing civil war.

    The discussions on the Syrian crisis settlement will last at least six months with the first part of the negotiations to last approximately two-three weeks.

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    peace talks, John Kerry, Syria, United States
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