Syria peace talks struggle to get off ground

Syrian pro-government forces gather at the site of suicide bombings in the town of Sayyida Zeinab, on the outskirts of Damascus, on January 31, 2016The UN special envoy for Syria faced an uphill task in Geneva on Monday to get talks to end the brutal civil war off the ground, as the opposition hesitated to join negotiations with the regime. The blasts were claimed by Islamic State, the extremist group that is running swathes of Syria and Iraq which has launched attacks worldwide, including in Paris in November when 130 people were murdered. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the new atrocity in Syria was “clearly aimed to disrupt the attempts to start a political process”.

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