Children hold a Syrian opposition flag as they sing during a school event in the old city of Aleppo, marking the third anniversary of the conflict, March 26, 2014. (REUTERS/Mahmoud Hebbo)
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International powers who support the Syrian opposition have firmly rebuffed any idea of a presidential election organised by the Syrian government in the midst of a civil war, describing the plans as a "parody of democracy" that would kill peace talks.The Friends of Syria, an alliance of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries, issued a statement on Thursday in light of recent developments in Syria, where there appears to be no end in sight after more than three years of conflict sparked by protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule. Syria's parliament set residency rules for presidential candidates in March, a move that would bar many of Assad's foes who live in exile.
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