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Syria Talks Hit Dead End, Aleppo Monitoring Boosted | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People wait to be evacuated from a rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria December 16, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

The Russian foreign ministry made a statement saying that U.N.-brokered negotiations in Geneva on the Syrian crisis had hit a dead end due to demands from the Syrian opposition in exile. Moscow backs Syrian authoritarian Bashar al-Assad in the conflict, while the opposition makes it clear that his step down is imperative for a political solution to materialize.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had also briefed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call about the results of talks in Moscow on Tuesday on the Syria crisis, the Russian foreign ministry said.

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Iran attended the Moscow talks with Lavrov and the defense ministers of the three countries met separately in the Russian capital.

On the evacuation of the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo will be complete in a maximum of two days, Lavrov said on Tuesday.

More so, the United Nations will be sending an additional 20 staff to east Aleppo, where they will monitor the continuing evacuation of thousands of people, a U.N. spokesman said on Tuesday.

“The task that has been given and mandated by the Security Council is to monitor and observe the evacuations,” Jens Laerke told a news briefing in Geneva.

The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously called for U.N. officials and others to observe the evacuation of people from the last rebel-held enclave in Aleppo and monitor the safety of civilians who remain in the Syrian city.