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No Breakthrough at Russia-Mediated Syrian Peace Talks


Qadri Jamil, left, former deputy prime minister representing Syria's opposition Popular Front of Change and Liberation, Samir Aita, center, a member of Syrian Democratic Forum, and Suleiman Numrud, an independent Syrian opposition member, attend a news conference in Moscow, Russia, April 10, 2015.

Members of the Syrian government and some opposition groups ended talks Friday in Russia with no signs of progress on how to end the four-year civil war.

It was the second round of largely unfruitful Syrian peace negotiations hosted this year by Russia, a close ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Following the talks, opposition leader Qadri Jamil, who leads Syria's Popular Front for Change and Liberation, spoke of the need for a new international peace conference.

The Russia-mediated talks were attended by Damascus officials, but were not attended by the main Western-backed Syrian National Coalition opposition group.

The negotiations took place as an embattled Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, remained under control of Islamic State militants.

Late Thursday, the Palestine Liberation Organization said it will not be drawn into military action in the Yarmouk camp, reversing remarks by a top Palestinian official that a deal had been reached with Syria's government for a joint military operation to expel the militants from the camp.

An estimated 18,000 Palestinians were living at the camp when it was overrun by IS militants last week.

The camp, once home to about 170,000 Palestinian refugees, has been under Syrian government siege for nearly two years and has received only sporadic aid deliveries.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for humanitarian access to Palestinian refugees trapped in the refugee camp in southern Damascus.

A pair of U.N.-sponsored international conferences in Geneva, Switzerland have failed to stop the Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 220,000 people.

Material for this report came from AP and Reuters.