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Opposition claims Syrian government is obstructing peace talks

The Syrian opposition claims the government delegation to the Geneva peace talks is coming up with new conditions, making it difficult to move forward.

Opposition spokesman Yahya Aridi said on Tuesday that the Damascus delegation told UN envoy Staffan de Mistura they will not negotiate directly.

He said Mr de Mistura told them about the government's stance.

Mr Aridi said the opposition delegates "consider this to be a precondition".

There was no immediate response from the government team in Switzerland.

Syrian opposition and government delegates are back in Geneva for a new round of UN-sponsored talks after a short break.

The government delegation has protested the opposition's insistence on the absence of President Bashar Assad from any future transition period.

The opposition has been calling for the indirect peace talks to become direct.

AP

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