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Russia-sponsored Syria peace talks begin in Moscow

Russian-sponsored peace talks aimed at resolving the four-year-old Syrian crisis has commenced in Moscow with participants representing the Syrian government and opposition parties.

Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari is representing Damascus in the truce discussion that began Monday in the Russian capital of Moscow with members of the opposition, including the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change.

Western-backed opposition figures, who have been pushing for a destructive war aimed at overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, have refused to participate in the Moscow peace negotiations, which will continue through Thursday.

The battle against foreign-sponsored terrorism in the Arab country as well as humanitarian issues is expected to be at the center of the discussions in the Russian capital.

The event is the second round of Moscow-mediated peace talks. Russia hosted the first round of the negotiations in February 2014, which reportedly ended with no concrete results.

The Western-backed Geneva I and Geneva II peace conferences on Syria, held in June 2012 and February 2014 respectively, ended in total failure since foreign-sponsored opposition figures refused to discuss wide-spread terrorism in the country and persisted in demanding the ouster of the Syrian government as a precondition.

The violence in Syria, fueled by foreign-backed Takfiri groups, including ISIL, has claimed the lives of over 215,000 people since March 2011, according to reports.

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