Global News

ABOVE: UN spokesperson Alessandra Vellucci and Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad comment on the hold up in peace talks

GENEVA – Syria’s government handed an ultimatum to a U.N. mediator hoping to broker peace in the country’s civil war, vowing to leave if “serious talks” do not begin by Saturday.

The government delegation that travelled to Geneva met for less than 90 minutes Friday with U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi as part of a peace conference that has been on the verge of falling apart ever since it was conceived.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told Brahimi that if “serious talks don’t begin Saturday, the official Syrian delegation will have to leave because the other party is not serious or ready,” according to Syrian state television.

Direct talks planned for Friday between the Syrian government and the Western-backed Syrian opposition were scrapped, and the opposition was to meet separately with…

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