Syria talks in Paris as West watches Aleppo slip away

US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) speaks to Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (L) and Jordan's FM Nasser Judeh at the end of Syria peace talks in Lausanne, in October 2016Western and Middle Eastern backers of Syria’s weakened opposition gather in Paris Saturday to discuss a ceasefire, having watched the conflict turn decisively in favour of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia. Foreign ministers from Europe, US Secretary of State John Kerry and their counterparts from Qatar and Saudi Arabia are likely to renew what have been so far ineffective calls for an end to the onslaught on Aleppo. Retreating rebels now control only a pocket of Syria’s second city, whose fate is seen as pivotal to the outcome of a nearly six-year-old war that has killed more than 300,000 people.

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