US Secretary of State John Kerry throws his scarf over his shoulder as he arrives at the Le Bourget airport to attend a two-day meeting on Syria, on January 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS
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US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday led an international bid to drag Syria's divided opposition into meaningful peace negotiations with President Bashar al-Assad's regime.At the start of a crucial couple of weeks for attempts to end a civil war that has claimed 130,000 lives, Kerry joined ministers from 10 other countries in seeking to persuade the opposition National Coalition to attend a first round of talks in Montreux, Switzerland on January 22 . German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was vital the opposition came to the negotiating table.Opposition leaders fear that deal, which involved Syria's ally Russia becoming a pivotal player in the efforts to end the conflict, has diluted the West's determination to see Assad removed from power.
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