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Syrian Regime To Participate In Geneva Peace Talks

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Foreign Minister Muallem said regime to participate in Syria peace talks in April

The Syrian regime's foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, said Wednesday that a Damascus delegation would participate in the Geneva talks to be held next month, according to the Algerian official news agency.

Al-Muallem’s statement followed talks with his Algerian counterpart, Ramtane Lamamra, during a visit to Algeria that had begun on Monday.

“The Syrian government will participate in the upcoming negotiations that ought to be held in Geneva that we wish will result in a political solution leading to cohesion of the Syrian people,” al-Muallem said, according to Algeria Press Service.

For his part, Lamamra praised the “positive” indications from the Syrian peace talks.

Al-Muallem was also expected to meet Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika late Wednesday to reportedly deliver a message from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has said he planned to restart peace talks on April 9 with a focus on political transition despite the Assad regime’s request to resume them after parliamentary elections on April 13.

The first round of peace talks in Geneva, which started on March 14, ended without result Thursday.

Last month, Russia and the U.S. agreed over a cessation-of-hostilities agreement over Syria, which paved the way for talks to resume.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to the UN.

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