Syria to give peace talks a second go at Geneva

Damascus: The second round of Syrian peace talks are due to begin in Geneva on Monday. The first round between the Syrian government and opposition representatives ended last month with no firm deal on the issues.

The new round of talks come as evacuation of hundreds of people from the besieged city of Homs begun, following a three-day truce brokered by the UN. The respite took effect on Friday but has since been breached with fresh violence, with both sides accusing each other. More than 600 civilians were taken out of the conflict zone on Sunday.

The civil war has claimed 130,000 lives since it commenced three years ago, creating two million refugees. In the round of talks last month, the government insisted that President Bashar al-Assad’s future would not be up for discussion. The opposition however, see no place for him in Syria if peace and stability is to be achieved.

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