Syria peace talks face formidable challenge

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (2nd left) chairs the Syrian peace talks in Geneva, on January 29, 2016Divisions among Syria's opposition and anger over regime blockades almost sank new peace talks in Geneva before they began, and analysts say prospects of a breakthrough at the negotiations remain slim. On Friday, after four days of suspense, Syria's main opposition umbrella group finally announced it would send representatives to Geneva. "There is every reason to be pessimistic, and there is no realistic scenario in which a breakthrough would be reached," said Karim Bitar, an analyst at the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations.


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