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A Russian initiative to bring together Syria's warring sides later this month does not aim to launch peace talks but rather to discuss the basis of future dialogue, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in comments published Thursday.The talks between the Syrian government and its opponents are scheduled to start Jan. 26 in Moscow. But prominent opposition groups have said they will not attend, and the talks have little chance of success. "We need to make sure that this does not become like 2014 when we heard similar appeals from all of us, including the U.N., and nothing really happened".He said the Syrian conflict had rendered 12 million people in need, 7.6 million displaced, 3.3 million refugees and claimed 220,000 lives.
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