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Latest Round of Syria Peace Talks with Common Principles
   2016-03-25 08:33:34    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guan Chao

UN Special Envoy for Syria De Mistura shows a document listing his points of commonality during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, March 24, 2016. As the latest round of talks seeking to broker a political end to the Syrian crisis concludes, UN mediator Staffan de Mistura hoped that a paper outlining 12 points of commonality between warring factions would form the basis for substantive negotiations in April. [Photo: Xinhua]

The latest round of Syrian peace talks have wrapped up in Geneva.

The talks have seen the United Nations give all sides a set of core principles it hopes the groups will adhere to.

UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, says they hope the document will create the conditions for more talks in around three weeksĄŻ time.

"I am expecting and hoping, of course I don't control everything but that is my expectation and we will certainly push in that direction, that the next round of talks will be not focusing on principles again - we have had enough of that - and there are valid, I think many valid common points there, but to start focusing on the political process."

The UN-sponsored principles cover a wide-ranging number of areas, including the rejection of terrorism, the rebuilding of the Syrian army and the right of return for refugees.

However, the document does not cover one major issue: The potential transfer of political power in Syria.

The new negotiations in Syria are part of a diplomatic push launched with US and Russian support to end the five-year conflict in Syria, which has left more than 250-thousand dead and millions more displaced.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Syria state media is reporting government forces - backed by Russian air forces - have fought their way into the ancient city of Palmyra.

The city has been under the control of the Islamic State since last year.

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