UN Syria envoy Geir Pedersen, centre, shakes hands with members of the country’s government after the first meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva. Photo: EPA

Syria’s warring sides launch direct talks for first time in more than 8 years

  • Previous rounds of talks saw UN mediators having to shuttle between delegations that could not bring themselves to meet face to face
  • Expectations have been dampened by the government’s recent gains, which could decrease its willingness to make concessions to its opponents
Topic |   Syrian conflict

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UN Syria envoy Geir Pedersen, centre, shakes hands with members of the country’s government after the first meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva. Photo: EPA
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Vladimir Putin (R) with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Xinhua

Erdogan says Turkey will clear ‘terrorists’ from Syria border if Russia deal fails

  • Erdogan and Putin agreed a deal in which Moscow will ‘facilitate the removal’ of the fighters from within 30km of the border
  • For Ankara, the Syrian Kurdish militia is as dangerous as the outlawed PKK, which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984
Topic |   Turkey

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Vladimir Putin (R) with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Xinhua
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