New round of talks on Syria open in Vienna

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VIENNA: A fresh round of international negotiations aimed at working out a solution to the conflict in Syria has opened in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
It is a second round of the international negotiations on Syria in which Iran is also taking part.
In remarks before the talks began, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is in Vienna for the talks, said, “effective decisions” have to be made by all participating countries in the Vienna talks.
‘Not deciding about Syria’s future’
He said finding a “definite and effective mechanism” to fight terrorism in Syria should be discussed in the talks on Saturday, especially in light of the Friday attacks in France.
Amir-Abdollahian stressed that the countries involved in the talks will not be making decisions about Syria’s political future, which is an issue solely for the Syrian people to decide about.
“We all try, however, to provide the ground and enable the Syrian people to decide about the political future of their country and succeed in fighting terrorism,” he said.
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has told reporters that the meeting is important but that he does not expect breakthroughs.
“Breakthrough is a big word. What we are definitely looking forward to keeping the momentum and progress,” he has said.
The Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the UN.

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