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Syria talks in Geneva need to focus on transition

Potential talks among global powers brokered by Annan would have to focus on the need for a democratic transition in the conflict-torn country

AFP , Wednesday 27 Jun 2012
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Syria peace envoy Kofi Annan has called the "Action Group" talks for Saturday in Geneva, but Washington has said it will not attend unless all parties first agree on the need for a political transition in Syria.

France has not confirmed it will attend and foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero on Wednesday also highlighted the need for participants to take a clear position on a handover of power.
"A meeting of the Action Group... must reach a common position on a credible political solution to the Syrian tragedy," Valero told a press briefing.

"Concretely, the Action Group must agree on the principles and steps for a democratic transition in Syria, as well as the priority attached to an end to repression and free access for humanitarian aid to civilians," he said. "If the meeting in Geneva on Saturday is confirmed, this is the message France would carry."

Annan's deputy said Wednesday he intends to hold the Geneva meeting and Russia, a key Syria ally, has pressed for it to go ahead.

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