Security installations are prepared in front of the "Fairmont Le Montreux Palace" Hotel in Montreux, Switzerland, Tuesday Jan. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone,Aline Staub)
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International diplomats and Syria's warring sides staggered toward the starting-line of ambitious peace talks in Switzerland aimed at putting an end to a devastating civil war and one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history.After three years of war that has produced what the U.N. has described as the worst humanitarian crisis since the 1994 Rwanda genocide, Syrian regime delegates and their opponents will finally gather in the same room Wednesday in the Swiss lake-side city of Montreux.Despite pleas by U.N. officials and diplomats for rivals to set aside their differences to avert a scenario that could see Syria become a failed state, few believe the meeting, which is expected to be followed by seven to 10 days of talks in the Swiss city of Geneva, will reach a breakthrough. The war in Syria has cost the country dearly. On the eve of the talks, dozens of Syrian experts working on a U.N. sponsored post-crisis model for Syria meeting in Amman warned that unless the violence stopped immediately, Syria would become a failed state.
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