Abu Amara, a 26-year-old fighter from the Free Syrian Army, uses binoculars as he stands with his fellow fighters in old Aleppo March 13, 2014. Abu Amara lost his hand during clashes with the Syrian regime. (REUTERS/Mahmoud Hebbo)
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The U.N-Arab League mediator for Syria warned Thursday that if the Syrian government goes ahead with presidential election, the opposition will probably refuse to participate in a new round of peace talks.At the latest round of "Geneva II" talks last month, Brahimi wanted both sides to hold parallel talks on terrorism, which is a major concern for the government, and the establishment of a transitional governing body for Syria, agreed on by major powers at a Geneva conference in June 2012 .One diplomat quoted Brahimi as saying the Syrian government created the clear impression that it was not ready to discuss a transitional government.Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told reporters afterward that his government agreed to Brahimi's agenda, but he insisted that combatting terrorists – as Syria calls the opposition fighters – is paramount and must be dealt with first.Lucas indicated the dispute was over conducting parallel talks on terrorism and a transitional government, saying "some members" supported this approach by Brahimi.
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