06:31 GMT +319 November 2019
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    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks to members of the media as he stands outside the United Nations Security Council chambers

    Russia, Iran Involvement in Syria 'Torpedoes' Peace Talks - French FM

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    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that Iranian and Russian involvement "completely torpedoes" the intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday that Russia and Iran were sabotaging the intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

    "This [Iranian and Russian involvement in Syria] completely torpedoes the peace talks in Geneva. There needs to be a political solution. There cannot be political discussion if one of the sides is engaged in destroying the other," Fabius told reporters upon arriving at Friday's informal EU defense and foreign ministers' meeting in Amsterdam.

    The EU ministerial meeting is set to discuss key elements of Europe's foreign policy and security policies, an EU diplomatic source said Thursday.

    The intra-Syria talks in Geneva were stalled on Wednesday after the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee, which was formed in Saudi Arabia, said their preconditions for the talks, namely the provision of humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian towns and the immediate end to the airstrikes, had not been met.

    Several EU and US officials have accused Russia of complicating the peace talks by continuing its aerial campaign against terrorist targets in Syria. The Russian General Staff has repeatedly rejected the Western accusations that the Russian airstrikes were hitting opposition and civilian targets, saying it closely coordinates its intelligence to exclusively strike terrorist positions.

    Russia's Defense Ministry said on Monday that it had carried out 468 sorties and destroyed over 1,300 terrorist targets in Syria over the past week, including a militant-controlled fuel depot in Aleppo.


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    Syrian crisis, Intra-Syria talks, Laurent Fabius, Iran, Russia, France, Syria
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