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Author Topic: France and US accuse Syrian President Assad of undermining Syria peace talks  (Read 380 times)

Offline legendguru (OP)

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The US and France have accused President Bashar Assad's regime of undermining talks to end Syria's civil war, which were suspended hours before donors were due to meet on Thursday to raise aid for the conflict-torn country.

The UN paused the fruitless peace negotiations as the Syrian government said it had dealt a major blow to the opposition by cutting a key supply route to the second city of Aleppo with the help of Russian air strikes.

The talks had been tipped as the most important push so far to end Syria's bloody five-year conflict, which has killed more than 260 000 people and forced half the country's population from its homes.

But they stalled before any progress had been made, with the main opposition umbrella group, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), saying it would not return to Geneva until the regime agreed to end bombardments, allow aid into besieged cities and release thousands of prisoners.

UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura said the talks would resume on February 25, insisting this was "not the end or the failure of the talks" and calling on all players to work harder to make them a success.

But French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius accused Damascus and Russia of "torpedoing the peace efforts" with their offensive, which US Secretary of State John Kerry said proved the Syrian government was not serious about the negotiations.

"The continued assault by Syrian regime forces, enabled by Russian air strikes against opposition-held areas... have clearly signalled the intention to seek a military solution rather than enable a political one," Kerry said in a statement.

Syrian troops, helped by days of Russian air sorties, on Wednesday cut the last supply route linking rebels in Syria's second city of Aleppo to the Turkish border in a major blow to the opposition.

It is one of several regime offensives since Moscow threw its military might behind Assad in September, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday he saw no reason for the air strikes to stop until the "terrorists" are defeated.



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