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Syria peace talks to kick off in Geneva without key figures

More than 260,000 people have been killed in Syria's warUN-mediated peace talks aimed at ending Syria’s conflict are scheduled to kick off Friday, but the absence of key opposition members threatens to derail the biggest diplomatic push yet to resolve the nearly five-year-old civil war. The Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee, which met in Riyadh on Thursday, said the opposition group would not attend the negotiations in Geneva until an agreement is reached on aid entering besieged towns. Riad Hijab, coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee, said that aid access was a precondition of the group attending.

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