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UN chief will push ahead with Syrian peace talks

February 18, 2014

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is determined to push ahead with peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition despite the lack of progress during two rounds of negotiations that ended Saturday.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky stressed that “this is the start of an enormously complicated process after three years of conflict.”

Nesirky told reporters Tuesday “it should not really surprise anyone ... that the parties have found it difficult to find a common voice.”

He said Ban and U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi are determined to push ahead, and are in contact with the U.S. and Russia on “how best to push forward.”

Nesirky said Ban hopes the parties will “think long and hard” and come back to Geneva as soon as possible to continue the peace process.

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