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Syrian Opposition Ready to Attend Geneva Peace Talks

FILE - Free Syrian Army fighters look at a Syrian Army jet, not pictured, in Fafeen village, north of Aleppo province, Syria. A spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee said representatives plan to start arriving in Geneva on Friday.

The main Syrian opposition group signaled Monday it intends to take part in renewed U.N.-led peace talks set to begin later this week.

Riad Nassan Agha, a spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee, said representatives plan to start arriving in Geneva on Friday.

He also said the HNC has noted a decline in reported violations of a cease-fire that has been in effect since February 27, as well as progress in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura originally intended to reconvene Syrian parties for peace talks late last month but pushed back the date as the United States and Russia led efforts to implement the cessation of hostilities.

Russia said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry agreed in a phone call Sunday that there should be no delay in starting the new round of negotiations.

A foreign ministry statement said the diplomats shared a "positive assessment" of the cease-fire and humanitarian access to besieged areas in Syria.

The goal of the peace talks is to bring about an agreement on a political transition to end Syria's five-year war with a new constitution and new elections.

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