UN: Syria government has not confirmed will attend Geneva talks

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United Nations Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura said on Monday that the Syrian government had not yet confirmed that it would attend an eighth round of peace talks in Geneva this week, but "indicated that we would be hearing from them soon."

"Last night we received a message that the government would not travel to Geneva today. Naturally we hope, and indeed expect the government will be on its way shortly," de Mistura told the UN Security Council on Monday.

Syrian congress in Russia postponed

A Russian-backed Congress of Syrian peoples in the Russian city of Sochi has been postponed until February, Russia's RIA news agency reported on Monday, citing a diplomatic source.

The event, called the Syrian Congress on National Dialogue, was initially to be held in November but some opposition groups rejected the idea of the meeting, initially proposed by President Vladimir Putin.

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