January 21, 2016 7:50 am
Updated: January 21, 2016 1:12 pm

John Kerry says no direct meetings to start Syria peace talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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DAVOS, Switzerland – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says opposing sides will not initially meet face-to-face in planned Syria peace talks in Geneva next week.

The top U.S. diplomat says the first U.N.-brokered meeting in the Swiss city will be “proximity talks” in which representatives of the government and opposition will gather separately.

The talks have been tentatively planned to take place on Monday, but diplomats say that could slip by a few days.

The cautious and step-by-step approach to the talks points to the delicate task faced by U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who is eager to make concrete progress toward ending the nearly five-year-old war that has claimed more than 250,000 lives.

Global News

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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