Kerry, Top Envoys Pressure Syria to Attend Peace Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and top envoys from 10 other countries are raising the pressure on the Syrian government.

Sunday, Jan 12, 2014  |  Updated 8:13 AM CDT
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US Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech during a press conference at the CICG (Centre International de Conferences Geneve) after talks over Iran's nuclear programme in Geneva on November 24, 2013.

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and top envoys from 10 other countries are raising the pressure on Syria's main opposition group to attend peace talks that would bring it face-to-face with the Syrian government.

The two-day meeting begins Sunday in Paris, just a week before the scheduled talks in Geneva.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition is nearing collapse, hampered by infighting, international pressure and disagreement over whether to negotiate with Syria's president, Bashar Assad.

The moderate rebels find themselves battling on two fronts — against al-Qaida linked militants on one side and Assad's forces on another. But despite low expectations for the Geneva peace conference, diplomats say it is the only chance of ending fighting that has killed more than 130,000 people.

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