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New round of Geneva talks in Syria

Al Manar – Representatives of Syrian government and armed opposition meet Monday for a seventh round of UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva.

The Geneva process has been increasingly overshadowed by a separate track organized by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

On Sunday, a ceasefire brokered by the United States, Russia and Jordan began in southern Syria, the latest agreement reached outside the Geneva framework.

In principle, the new round of negotiations will focus on four so-called “baskets”: a new constitution, governance, elections and combating “terrorism”.

The last talks had ended in May with little progress towards ending a war that has killed more than 320,000 people since it began in March 2011.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said afterwards that “important gaps remain… on major issues,” and that time constraints had stymied progress.