December 15, 2017 / 3:23 PM / 8 months ago

Despite failed round, U.N. Syria talks only viable peace effort, France says

PARIS (Reuters) - France on Friday firmly backed U.N.-led peace talks on Syria in Geneva and said the responsibility of the failed negotiations since the end of November fell entirely on the government delegation.

A round of Syria peace talks that ended on Thursday was a big missed opportunity, but there may be more talks in January if ideas can be found to encourage President Bashar al-Assad’s government to engage, U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday.

“There is no alternative to a negotiated political solution agreed by both parties under the auspices of the United Nations,” deputy foreign ministry spokesman Alexandre Georgini told reporters in a daily briefing, reiterating Paris’ support for de Mistura.

“We deplore the attitude of the Syrian regime, which has refused to engage in the discussion. The Syrian regime is responsible for the lack of progress in the negotiations,” he said.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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