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Russia, Syria criticize opposition, U.S. ahead of peace talks

Friday, Jan 17, 2014 - 01:18

Jan. 17 - Russia says opposition must stop dragging out peace process while Syria accuses U.S. of a conspiracy against government. Nathan Frandino reports.

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With less than a week until the Geneva II peace conference, Russia and Syria are expressing frustrations about certain aspects of the talks. At a news conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized certain Syrian opposition groups who have yet to decide to participate. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "We are worried that while the Syrian government already agreed to take part in the conference a long time ago, and already formed its delegation, there have not been similar steps from the opposition and the so-called National Coalition. And this process is being dragged out." Alongside Lavrov, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem accused the U.S. of a conspiracy directed at Syria by supporting terrorists in his country. Moualem also announced a plan for security measures in Aleppo and a potential prisoner swap. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WALID AL-MOUALEM, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "I also informed Minister Lavrov about our fundamental position to agree to an exchange of prisoners in Syrian prisons with those captured by the other side. In that regard we are ready to exchange the lists and to work out an arrangement about how to achieve all that." So far the war has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced millions.

Russia, Syria criticize opposition, U.S. ahead of peace talks

Friday, Jan 17, 2014 - 01:18

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