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Syria conflict: UN suspends peace talks in Geneva

February 3, 2016 5:35 pm

The UN has suspended peace talks aimed at ending Syria’s five-year civil war, the organisation’s special envoy has said.

Staffan de Mistura called the temporary halt, saying there had been a lack of progress in the first week.

The talks opened just two days ago but are due to resume again on 25 February.

The move came as the Syrian government claimed a major blow against the opposition by cutting a key supply route to rebel-held Aleppo.

Syrian state television reported that government forces had broken the siege of Nubul and Zahraa, two towns north-west of Aleppo.

On the talks, Mr de Mistura admitted “there’s more work to be done”.

“It is not the end and it is not the failure of the talks,” he said.

“Why? They came and they stayed. Both sides insisted on the fact that they are interested in having a political process started.”

More than 250,000 people have died in almost five years of war in Syria.

Eleven million others have fled their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other, as well as the Islamic State group.