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'no miracles' in geneva talks as syria fighting rages | syria news


united nations envoy staffan de mistura has warned not to expect "miracles" as a new round of un-backed talks between rival sides in syria's conflict resumed amid ongoing fighting across the country.as rebel fighters in syria pushed on with a major offensive against government forces in the central province of hama, representatives of the two sides in the talks held in geneva traded allegations over developments on the ground.syrian government envoy bashar al-jaafari accused the opposition of intentionally undermining the talks, saying an escalation of attacks over the past few days is "pushing everybody toward a total failure and fiasco in the political and diplomatic process".for his part, nasr al-hariri, the syrian opposition's chief negotiator in the talks, accused the government of ta






un envoy for syria hails "positive" meeting with tillerson


geneva — the u.n. envoy for syria has held a "positive" meeting with u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson about upcoming talks among syria's fighting sides.a spokeswoman for staffan de mistura said tuesday that he met with the top u.s. diplomat last week as part of a "series of successful meetings with the new u.s. administration" during a trip to the united states.the spokeswoman, yara sharif, told reporters in geneva that the discussions with tillerson were centered on the "context" of syria's war. she said only one u.n.-led humanitarian convoy reached besieged areas in syria last month, making it the worst month for aid deliveries since march.sharif said invitations to the u.n.-sponsored intra-syrian talks set to begin feb. 20 in geneva will be sent wednesday.






de mistura: syria talks in geneva end with clear agenda | syria news


geneva, switzerland - syria's warring sides agreed to future negotiations at the end of a fourth set of talks in geneva, a mild breakthrough after a week of stalled discussions and a steadily failing ceasefire.staffan de mistura, the un envoy for syria, announced on friday the end of the intra-syrian talks in the swiss city having secured a finalised agenda – agreed upon by warring sides – for another round.he said he would to invite the sides back to geneva for the fifth set of discussions this month."we have a clear agenda in front of us ...the train is ready, it is in the station," de mistura told reporters.the fourth geneva talks were part of the latest political initiative to bring an end to a six-year war that has killed nearly 500,000 people, wounded more than a million, and displac






can the latest round of talks end the syrian conflict? | syria


the syrian opposition says the fate of president bashar al-assad is on the agenda of the new talks on syria's conflict in geneva - something the government has refused to discuss.the un mediator staffan de mistura has played down expectations, saying that he does not expect a breakthrough.he broke off a previous round of talks nine months ago because of an escalation in fighting.since then, russian intervention has helped government forces to repel rebels.so will the "geneva 4" talks come to nothing just like before?presenter: hazem sikaguests:louay safi - former syrian opposition leadervladimir sotnikov - russia east-west centre for strategic studiessalman shaikh - chief executive, shaikh group and former u-n policy advisersource: al jazeera news






can the latest round of talks end the syrian conflict? | syria


the syrian opposition says the fate of president bashar al-assad is on the agenda of the new talks on syria's conflict in geneva - something the government has refused to discuss.the un mediator staffan de mistura has played down expectations, saying that he does not expect a breakthrough.he broke off a previous round of talks nine months ago because of an escalation in fighting.since then, russian intervention has helped government forces to repel rebels.so will the "geneva 4" talks come to nothing just like before?presenter: hazem sikaguests:louay safi - former syrian opposition leadervladimir sotnikov - russia east-west centre for strategic studiessalman shaikh - chief executive, shaikh group and former un policy advisersource: al jazeera news






the latest: syria's un ambassador: homs attacks a 'message'


beirut — the latest on developments in syria and at peace talks in geneva (all times local):6:40 p.m.syria's ambassador to the united nations says the attacks against security offices in the country's central city of homs are a message from the "sponsors of terrorism" to the peace talks.bashar al-ja'afari, who leads damascus' delegation to the peace talks in geneva, said saturday the attacks, which he called a "crime," will not go unanswered. he said they "were a message to geneva from the sponsors of terrorism. the message has been delivered."al-ja'afari was arriving for talks with the u.n. envoy to syria. the talks in geneva opened thursday.the twin attacks were among the best coordinated against the government security offices, killing at least 32 including a senior officer of the feare






un's de mistura expects no breakthrough in syria talks | syria news


geneva, switzerland - the united nations mediator for the talks on the war in syria, staffan de mistura, had played down expectations for major progress ahead of planned negotiations in the swiss city of geneva."am i expecting a breakthrough? no, i am not expecting a breakthrough," he told journalists at the un headquarters on wednesday, a day before the start of the fourth round of talks aimed at finding a political solution to syria's long-running conflict.though the geneva talks are seen as the most serious diplomatic effort in months, disputes over the agenda and longstanding disagreements between the opposition and the government on the future of syria have cast doubts on whether any progress will be achieved. read more: after six years of war, low hopes for syria peace talks de mistu






un's de mistura expects no breakthrough in syria talks | syria news


geneva, switzerland - the united nations mediator for the talks on the war in syria, staffan de mistura, had played down expectations for major progress ahead of planned negotiations in the swiss city of geneva."am i expecting a breakthrough? no, i am not expecting a breakthrough," he told journalists at the un headquarters on wednesday, a day before the start of the fourth round of talks aimed at finding a political solution to syria's long-running conflict.though the geneva talks are seen as the most serious diplomatic effort in months, disputes over the agenda and longstanding disagreements between the opposition and the government on the future of syria have cast doubts on whether any progress will be achieved. read more: after six years of war, low hopes for syria peace talks de mistu






un's de mistura expects no breakthrough in syria talks | syria news


geneva, switzerland - the united nations mediator for the talks on the war in syria, staffan de mistura, had played down expectations for major progress ahead of planned negotiations in the swiss city of geneva."am i expecting a breakthrough? no, i am not expecting a breakthrough," he told journalists at the un headquarters on wednesday, a day before the start of the fourth round of talks aimed at finding a political solution to syria's long-running conflict.though the geneva talks are seen as the most serious diplomatic effort in months, disputes over the agenda and longstanding disagreements between the opposition and the government on the future of syria have cast doubts on whether any progress will be achieved. read more: after six years of war, low hopes for syria peace talks de mistu






un's de mistura expects no breakthrough in syria talks | syria news


geneva, switzerland - the united nations mediator for the talks on the war in syria, staffan de mistura, has played down expectations for major progress before planned negotiations in the swiss city of geneva."am i expecting a breakthrough? no, i am not expecting a breakthrough," he told journalists at the un headquarters on wednesday, a day before the start of the fourth round of talks aimed at finding a political solution to syria's long-running conflict.though the geneva talks are seen as the most serious diplomatic effort in months, disputes over the agenda and long-standing disagreements between the opposition and the government on the future of syria have cast doubts on whether any progress will be achieved. read more: after six years of war, low hopes for syria peace talks de mistur






un-sponsored syria talks resume in geneva after 10 months


geneva — syrian peace talks under the auspices of the united nations have resumed in geneva, 10 months after they fell apart over escalating bloodshed in the war-torn country.u.n. syria envoy staffan de mistura is convening his first morning meeting with the delegation of the syrian government, headed by bashar al-ja'aafari, on thursday.he is then expected to meet with nasr hariri, a senior member with the largest opposition group, the syrian national coalition.opposition delegates have been arriving in geneva since wednesday and some held late night meetings in preparation for the talks.this is the fourth round of negotiations since early last year.the talks are taking place amid a hard-won, fragile truce brokered by turkey and russia, which have backed opposite sides in the six-year civi






geneva talks: rebels positive after meeting de mistura | syria news


geneva, switzerland - the syrian opposition's first meeting with staffan de mistura in the latest round of peace talks was "generally positive", the rebels said, adding the un envoy seemed more engaged in discussing political transition.inside story- can the latest round of syria talks bring an end to the conflict?"we heard positive ideas and suggestions from mr de mistura," lead opposition negotiator nasser al-hariri told reporters on friday."i believe he was more enthusiastic than before in discussing a political transition in syria. so far there are no specific measures."hariri said the opposition presented its "understanding" of points in un security council resolution 2254 that discuss political transition in syria, including governance, the formation of a new constitution and new un-






rebels seek 'direct negotiations' with assad government | syria news


syria's main opposition group has called for face-to-face discussions with government representatives, as a new round of talks in geneva begins one year after meetings in the swiss city fell apart."we ask for direct negotiations ... it would save time and be proof of seriousness instead of negotiating in [separate] rooms," salem al-meslet, spokesman for the high negotiations committee (hnc) umbrella group, told the afp news agency.the talks are set to begin on thursday morning.during three previous rounds of talks in geneva last year, the two sides never sat down at the same table, instead leaving un mediator staffan de mistura to shuttle between them.de mistura has played down expectations for major progress ahead of planned negotiations."am i expecting a breakthrough? no, i am not expect






rebels seek 'direct negotiations' with assad government | syria news


syria's main opposition group has called for face-to-face discussions with government representatives, as a new round of talks in geneva begins one year after meetings in the swiss city fell apart."we ask for direct negotiations ... it would save time and be proof of seriousness instead of negotiating in [separate] rooms," salem al-meslet, spokesman for the high negotiations committee (hnc) umbrella group, told the afp news agency.the talks are set to begin on thursday morning.during three previous rounds of talks in geneva last year, the two sides never sat down at the same table, instead leaving un mediator staffan de mistura to shuttle between them.de mistura has played down expectations for major progress ahead of planned negotiations."am i expecting a breakthrough? no, i am not expect






rebels seek 'direct negotiations' with assad government | syria news


syria's main opposition group has called for face-to-face discussions with government representatives, as a new round of talks in geneva begins one year after meetings in the swiss city fell apart."we ask for direct negotiations ... it would save time and be proof of seriousness instead of negotiating in [separate] rooms," salem al-meslet, spokesman for the high negotiations committee (hnc) umbrella group, told the afp news agency.the talks are due to begin on thursday morning.during three previous rounds of talks in geneva last year, the two sides never sat down at the same table, instead leaving un mediator staffan de mistura to shuttle between them.de mistura has played down expectations for major progress in the negotiations."am i expecting a breakthrough? no, i am not expecting a brea






geneva talks: rebels positive after meeting de mistura | syria news


geneva, switzerland - the syrian opposition has described its first meeting here with the un envoy in the latest round of peace talks as "generally positive", praising him for being more engaged in discussing a political transition.the comments came a day after staffan de mistura, the un special envoy for syria, formally launched the fourth round of negotiations at the un offices amid low expectations.the talks are part of the latest political initiative to bring an end to a six-year war that has killed nearly 500,000 people, wounded more than a million, and displaced nearly half the population. read more: syria's geneva talks - expectations very low "we heard positive ideas and suggestions from mr de mistura," nasser al-hariri, the lead opposition negotiator, said at a news conference on






geneva talks: rebels positive after meeting de mistura | syria news


geneva, switzerland - the syrian opposition has described its first meeting here with the un envoy in the latest round of peace talks as "generally positive", praising him for being more engaged in discussing political transition.the comments came a day after staffan de mistura, the un special envoy for syria, formally launched the fourth round of negotiations at the un offices amid low expectations.the talks are part of the latest political initiative to bring an end to a six-year war that has killed nearly 500,000 people, wounded more than a million, and displaced nearly half the population. read more: syria's geneva talks - expectations very low "we heard positive ideas and suggestions from mr de mistura," nasser al-hariri, the lead opposition negotiator, said at a news conference on fr






fierce fighting in syria as talks restart in geneva | syria news


the syrian army and rebels fought in the capital damascus and north of hama on thursday after the opposition's biggest offensive in months, underscoring the bleak prospects for un-led talks that resumed in geneva.the offensive seems unlikely to reverse 18 months of steady military gains by the government, culminating in december's capture of the rebel enclave in aleppo, but it has shown the difficulty the army faces in defending many fronts simultaneously.increased fighting in recent weeks despite a ceasefire brokered in december by russia and turkey casts further doubt on peacemaking efforts in geneva, where talks resumed on thursday after making little progress in recent rounds. can syrian rebels build on their damascus attackun deputy syria envoy ramzy ezzeldin ramzy met in geneva with






syria talks hit nag before opening ceremony in geneva | syria news


geneva, switzerland - un-led negotiations on the war in syria got off to a delayed start following disputes over the participation of the syrian opposition delegation.opposition representatives nearly missed the opening ceremony of the talks on thursday after threatening not to attend over disagreements on the make-up and format of the session. but in a last-minute turnaround, they arrived late and as one large delegation.un envoy staffan de mistura formally kicked off the fourth round of syria talks in geneva in an opening session that brought the opposition and government delegations face-to-face at un headquarters amid low expectations.syria talks to resume with low expectations"i ask you to work together. i know it’s not going to be easy to end this horrible conflict and lay the founda






syria talks hit snag before opening ceremony in geneva | syria news


geneva, switzerland - un-led negotiations on the war in syria got off to a delayed start following disputes over the participation of the syrian opposition delegation.opposition representatives nearly missed the opening ceremony of the talks on thursday after threatening not to attend over disagreements on the make-up and format of the session. but in a last-minute turnaround, they arrived late and as one large delegation.un envoy staffan de mistura formally kicked off the fourth round of syria talks in geneva in an opening session that brought the opposition and government delegations face-to-face at un headquarters amid low expectations.syria talks to resume with low expectations"i ask you to work together. i know it’s not going to be easy to end this horrible conflict and lay the founda






sights set for modest achievements in syria talks


geneva — the united nations envoy to syria is working round the clock in a bid to secure a modest victory in the fourth round of talks held in geneva.staffan de mistura is due for another round of meetings thursday marking a week of bilateral talks with the government delegation and opposition groups.a top syrian opposition negotiator told journalists overnight wednesday the "envoy is really keen to start a political process on the basis of a clear agenda."nasr al-hariri said the talks would likely culminate in a closing ceremony friday and the parties may be back in geneva for further discussions in a few weeks.setting the agenda and strategy to guide discussions has proven difficult as the main conflicting parties dig in their heels over form and semantics.






sights set for modest achievements in syria talks


geneva (ap) — diplomats and negotiators have set their sights on modest achievements in the latest round of syria talks in geneva, after a week of discussions centering on setting an agenda for future talks.meanwhile, fighting continued thursday near palmyra in central syria.u.n. special envoy to syria staffan de mistura is due for another round of meetings thursday marking a week of bilateral talks with the government delegation and opposition groups.russian deputy foreign minister gennady gatilov told reporters wednesday that “the parties have agreed to … discuss all issues in a parallel way, on several tracks.” after a damascus request, the issue of terrorism is also on the table, he said.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.russia is a key sponsor of syrian preside






the latest: syrian gov’t demands opposition unity for talks


beirut (ap) — the latest on developments in syria and at peace talks in geneva (all times local):9:45 p.m.the syrian government’s top envoy to geneva peace talks says his side will meet face-to-face with the opposition only if its various factions come together in a “unified, patriotic opposition.”bashar al-ja’afari, syria’s ambassador to the united nations, pressed home the government’s demand that the opposition denounce terrorism in the wake of deadly attacks against security offices in the central city of homs earlier saturday.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.speaking to reporters after a 2-1/2-hour meeting with the u.n. syria envoy, al-ja’afari said of the government delegation: “we do not have any pre-conditions.”in comments translated from arabic, he said: “






syria talks in geneva at standstill in final hours | syria news


geneva, switzerland - the syrian government delegation has accused the main opposition group at un-led negotiations of holding the talks "hostage" in their final hours, adding that it would hold the opposition responsible for any failure.after a week of indirect talks, little progress has been made in getting the two sides to the negotiating table.and as a ceasefire on the ground in syria steadily crumbles, it remains unclear whether the rivals will be able to agree even on the basic format of negotiations before this round of talks comes to a close."we must not permit the riyadh platform to hold geneva talks hostage," lead government negotiator bashar al-jaafari told reporters, referring to the opposition, after meeting with un syria envoy staffan de mistura."this did not come as a surpri






the latest: syrian gov't demands opposition unity for talks


beirut — the latest on developments in syria and at peace talks in geneva (all times local):9:45 p.m.the syrian government's top envoy to geneva peace talks says his side will meet face-to-face with the opposition only if its various factions come together in a "unified, patriotic opposition."bashar al-ja'afari, syria's ambassador to the united nations, pressed home the government's demand that the opposition denounce terrorism in the wake of deadly attacks against security offices in the central city of homs earlier saturday.speaking to reporters after a 2-1/2-hour meeting with the u.n. syria envoy, al-ja'afari said of the government delegation: "we do not have any pre-conditions."in comments translated from arabic, he said: "we only have one condition, and that is that we can sit with on






rebels seek 'direct negotiations' with assad government | syria news


syria's main opposition group has called for face-to-face discussions with government representatives, as a new round of talks in geneva begins one year after meetings in the swiss city fell apart."we ask for direct negotiations ... it would save time and be proof of seriousness instead of negotiating in [separate] rooms," salem al-meslet, spokesman for the high negotiations committee (hnc) umbrella group, told the afp news agency.the talks began on thursday.during three previous rounds of talks in geneva last year, the two sides never sat down at the same table, instead leaving un mediator staffan de mistura to shuttle between them."if the regime's side is here for serious talks, it shouldn’t hesitate or run away from face-to-face talks. if the purpose of the talks are to bring peace to s






the latest: geneva talks to focus on syria transition friday


beirut — the latest developments on the ground in syria and at the geneva peace talks. (all times local):9:50 p.m.a syrian official in the main opposition delegation taking part in the u.n.-mediated talks in geneva says discussions will continue on friday with a focus on the issue of political transition in syria.nasr al-hariri spoke to journalist late on thursday. he says his delegation held "very positive" and detailed discussions with u.n. syria envoy staffan de mistura on the issue of political transition in his war-torn country.al-hariri says that the "political process is not an easy process, it cannot be concluded in one or two weeks, more effort is needed, more time is needed" and stressed that his delegation was willing to keep negotiating.de mistura has had a week of bilateral ta






un hosts ‘geneva iv’ talks: sequel or new script for syria?


geneva (ap) — yet another sequel to chronically-fruitless syria peace talks, or an entirely new script?after months of syria bloodshed, stalled humanitarian aid deliveries and stop-and-start diplomacy, u.n. syria envoy staffan de mistura is reconvening talks between government and opposition delegations on thursday, in the latest bid to end the country’s catastrophic six-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more.hopes are not exactly high for “geneva iv,” the fourth round of u.n-mediated intra-syrian talks since early last year.battlefield gains by president bashar assad’s forces against western-backed rebels, a new diplomatic push led by turkey and russia, and uncertainty about the trump administration’s strategy on syria — the u.s. has been larg






sights set for modest achievements in syria talks


geneva — diplomats and negotiators have set their sights on modest achievements in the latest round of syria talks in geneva, after a week of discussions centering on setting an agenda for future talks.meanwhile, fighting continued thursday near palmyra in central syria.u.n. special envoy to syria staffan de mistura is due for another round of meetings thursday marking a week of bilateral talks with the government delegation and opposition groups.russian deputy foreign minister gennady gatilov told reporters wednesday that "the parties have agreed to ... discuss all issues in a parallel way, on several tracks." after a damascus request, the issue of terrorism is also on the table, he said.russia is a key sponsor of syrian president bashar assad's government in damascus.a top syrian opposit






syria talks hit snag before opening ceremony in geneva | syria news


geneva, switzerland - un-led negotiations on the war in syria got off to a delayed start following disputes over the participation of the syrian opposition delegation.opposition representatives nearly missed the opening ceremony of the talks on thursday after threatening not to attend over disagreements on the make-up and format of the session. but in a last-minute turnaround, they arrived late and as one large delegation.un envoy staffan de mistura formally began the fourth round of talks in geneva in an opening session that brought the opposition and government delegations face-to-face at un headquarters with expectations of a breakthrough low.syria talks to resume with low expectations"i ask you to work together. i know it's not going to be easy to end this horrible conflict and lay the






syria talks hit snag before opening ceremony in geneva | syria news


geneva, switzerland - un-led negotiations on the war in syria got off to a delayed start following disputes over the participation of the syrian opposition delegation.opposition representatives nearly missed the opening ceremony of the talks on thursday after threatening not to attend over disagreements on the make-up and format of the session. but in a last-minute turnaround, they arrived late and as one large delegation.un envoy staffan de mistura formally began the fourth round of talks in geneva in an opening session that brought the opposition and government delegations face-to-face at un headquarters with expectations of a breakthrough low.syria talks to resume with low expectations"i ask you to work together. i know it's not going to be easy to end this horrible conflict and lay the






un hosts ‘geneva iv’ talks: sequel or new script for syria?


geneva (ap) — yet another sequel to chronically-fruitless syria peace talks, or an entirely new script?after months of syria bloodshed, stalled humanitarian aid deliveries and stop-and-start diplomacy, u.n. syria envoy staffan de mistura is reconvening talks between government and opposition delegations on thursday, in the latest bid to end the country’s catastrophic six-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more.hopes are not exactly high for “geneva iv,” the fourth round of u.n-mediated intra-syrian talks since early last year.battlefield gains by president bashar assad’s forces against western-backed rebels, a new diplomatic push led by turkey and russia, and uncertainty about the trump administration’s strategy on syria — the u.s. has been larg






syria talks face hurdle—u.s. disengagement


geneva—peace talks between syria’s regime and opposition face a formidable obstacle: until president donald trump’s administration decides how to approach the six-year war, it makes little sense for anyone to compromise.“it’s very difficult to reach any political solution if there is not a positive, active and serious role of the u.s.a.,” said nasr alhariri, head of the opposition delegation to the current round of talks now under...






opposition points to signs of progress at geneva talks | syria news


ongoing syria talks in geneva appeared to show some signs of movement on wednesday, as opposition negotiators said the government had been pressured by russia to address their demands for a political transition.for seven days now, negotiations between government and opposition representatives in the swiss city have focused almost entirely on format, in the hopes of arranging more substantive talks in later rounds.but after a two-hour closed-door session at united nations headquarters with un syria envoy staffan de mistura, lead opposition negotiator nasr al-hariri said they held "deep discussions for the first time"."the subject of political transition has become the main subject on the table," he told reporters, calling it "a good start".inside story - can the latest round of syria talks






rebels seek 'direct negotiations' with assad government | syria news


syria's main opposition group has called for face-to-face discussions with government representatives, as a new round of talks in geneva begins one year after meetings in the swiss city fell apart."we ask for direct negotiations ... it would save time and be proof of seriousness instead of negotiating in [separate] rooms," salem al-meslet, spokesman for the high negotiations committee (hnc) umbrella group, told reporters.the talks began on thursday.during three previous rounds of talks in geneva last year, the two sides never sat down at the same table, instead leaving un mediator staffan de mistura to shuttle between them."if the regime's side is here for serious talks, it shouldn’t hesitate or run away from face-to-face talks. if the purpose of the talks are to bring peace to syria, and






the latest: putin hopes for successful syria settlement


geneva — the latest on developments in syria and the geneva talks (all times local):3:15 p.m.russian president vladimir putin is voicing hope for the success of a political settlement in syria, saying it will help defeat the "terrorist malaise."putin said thursday at a meeting with russian seamen that moscow's goal in syria is to help stabilize the legitimate government and fight international terrorism.russia has conducted an air campaign in syria since september 2015, helping turn the tide of war in syrian president bashar assad's favor.putin said the russian military action had helped create conditions for talks between the government and the opposition in kazakhstan's capital, astana. he voiced hope that the process launched in astana will be developed at the syria peace talks in genev






un hosts 'geneva iv' talks: sequel or new script for syria?


geneva — yet another sequel to chronically-fruitless syria peace talks, or an entirely new script?after months of syria bloodshed, stalled humanitarian aid deliveries and stop-and-start diplomacy, u.n. syria envoy staffan de mistura is reconvening talks between government and opposition delegations on thursday, in the latest bid to end the country's catastrophic six-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more.hopes are not exactly high for "geneva iv," the fourth round of u.n-mediated intra-syrian talks since early last year.battlefield gains by president bashar assad's forces against western-backed rebels, a new diplomatic push led by turkey and russia, and uncertainty about the trump administration's strategy on syria — the u.s. has been largely o






un hosts 'geneva iv' talks: sequel or new script for syria?


geneva — yet another sequel to chronically-fruitless syria peace talks, or an entirely new script?after months of syria bloodshed, stalled humanitarian aid deliveries and stop-and-start diplomacy, u.n. syria envoy staffan de mistura is reconvening talks between government and opposition delegations on thursday, in the latest bid to end the country's catastrophic six-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more.hopes are not exactly high for "geneva iv," the fourth round of u.n-mediated intra-syrian talks since early last year.battlefield gains by president bashar assad's forces against western-backed rebels, a new diplomatic push led by turkey and russia, and uncertainty about the trump administration's strategy on syria — the u.s. has been largely o






the latest: new round of syria peace talks starts in geneva


beirut (ap) — the latest on the conflict in syria (all times local):2 p.m.the u.n. syria envoy has kicked off the formal start of the fifth round of peace talks over 14 months between envoys from president bashar assad’s government and opposition groups, amid slim hopes for an immediate breakthrough.the envoy, staffan de mistura, hosted syrian ambassador bashar al-ja’afari at u.n. offices in geneva for the talks set to take place over at least several days around issues of governance, elections, a new constitution, and the fight against terrorism.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.de mistura was set to meet with the main opposition delegation later friday. the talks come amid a recent escalation in fighting in syria, notably in and around damascus.the two sides are s






the latest: representative calls for unity among opposition


beirut — the latest on developments in syria and at the geneva talks (all times local):8:50 p.m.a representative of the moscow-backed syria opposition says opposition groups need to form a single delegation if they are to enter talks with representatives of the damascus government in geneva.u.n. envoy staffan de mistura has invited opposition groups and representatives of the syrian government to switzerland in a fresh diplomatic bid to move toward a political solution to the six-year-old conflict in syria.after meeting with de mistura, hamza monzer said his group wanted to move from "a situation of paralysis to action."the damascus government has repeatedly sought to characterize the syrian opposition as too fragmented to take part in any serious negotiation.three opposition groups were i






don't judge apple purely on iphone sales


apple is expected to slide back into growth for the first time in several quarters when it reports quarterly 1q17 earnings on tuesday. but while most eyes will be on iphone sales, there are far more important metrics you should be keeping an eye on.must read:five things you shouldn't buy from apple iphone: what will the next 10 years bring? what will the iphone of 2027 look like? will there even be an iphone in 2027?so, if iphone sales aren't the metric to focus on, what is?back in october apple said it expected to post revenue of between $76 billion and $78 billion, up from the $75.9 billion of december 2015. iphone sales in the region of 75 million would let apple hit this number. since apple tends to be pretty conservative when it comes to predictions, this could be anywhere up to $80 b