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Syrian opposition finally agrees to join Geneva talks

The Syrian opposition said Feb. 1 it would join the Syria peace talks in Geneva to press for an end to sieges and the shelling of civilians.
Salim al-Muslat, spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), addresses a news conference after meeting U.N. mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura during peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse - RTX24Z1B

WASHINGTON — Syrian peace talks seemed to pick up pace Feb. 1 after a highly uncertain start, as the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) signaled it would join the Geneva talks to press for an end to devastating sieges starving millions of Syrians, and for the release of prisoners, especially women and children.

“We have come to Geneva to seek relief for our people by insisting UN Security Council resolution 2254 is implemented, which means humanitarian relief, the lifting of sieges and the end of attacks on civilians,” HNC spokesman Salem al-Meslet said. “We are intensifying our efforts to ensure that action is taken to end the suffering in Syria.”

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