Syria Minister: Geneva peace talks will fail

Ali Haider says that in the current circumstances, no breakthrough is possible

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Peace talks between Syrian government and opposition delegations in Geneva will end in "failure" under the current circumstances, the country's reconciliation minister told AFP on Tuesday.

"In the current circumstances up until this moment, no breakthrough is possible. On the contrary, I think Geneva under the current circumstances will end in failure," Ali Haidar said after a second day of talks in the Swiss city ended with a mediator admitting little progress.

The minister said there had been "no breakthroughs on either the fight against terrorism or the political process."

The Syrian government insists that the battle against what it calls "terrorism" by the rebels fighting to overthrow it should be the main item on the agenda of the Geneva talks.

"Both sides were convinced in advance that this dialogue would not result in any settlement of the Syrian crisis," Haidar said.

He said that the second round of peace talks under way in Geneva should be followed by a first round of negotiations in Damascus.

"We are absolutely convinced that the solution lies not in Geneva but inside Syria," he said.

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