France, Russia divided on Syria peace talks

Orient Net - NHK World 2016-02-06 08:41:00

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France and Russia have traded criticism over stalled peace talks between warring sides in Syria.

The talks in Geneva are on hold until February 25th due to competing demands by the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition.

The Security Council held a closed-door session on Friday and heard a report via TV phone from special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who is mediating the peace talks, NHK World News reported.

After the meeting, French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre criticized the Assad regime and Russia.

He said the major offensive by the Assad administration against opposition forces shows it is not sincere about negotiating for peace.

He said the Russian-backed offensive is causing a humanitarian crisis.

Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin rejected the claim. He said a ceasefire should not be a precondition for the peace talks.

Countries involved in the dispute are due to meet in Germany next week to discuss ways to achieve peace, NHK World added.