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Syria talks must continue: UN envoy

Syria talks must continue: UN envoy

Moscow: UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has said the negotiations to end the Syrian civil war should continue despite failure of a UN-brokered ceasefire over Eid al-Adha.

"The situation is bad and getting worse," Brahimi said after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov here Monday.

"The government says they are fighting terrorists and only terrorists, and that it is their duty to do so - to protect their people. And the other side says 'we're fighting a very cruel government that is persecuting us, and we are defending ourselves'," the envoy said.

He, however, stressed the collapse of last week's truce would not weaken "our resolve" to bring an end to fighting which has killed tens of thousands of Syrians since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.

Syrian opposition activists say 150 people were killed Friday, the day the truce was supposed to come into force, and over 130 deaths were reported Saturday as regime warplanes hammered Damascus.

Both sides have blamed each other for the truce's breakdown.

Brahimi also said that there were no plans to send UN peacekeepers to Syria.

Lavrov said Moscow was disappointed by the failure of Brahimi's ceasefire initiative, but there was little sense in blaming either side.

"Our main task at this stage is to get all the Syrians who are fighting each other to stop shooting and sit down at the negotiating table," the Russian minister added.


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