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Russia hopes for Geneva talks on Syria ahead of Sochi talks

January 9, 2018

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia’s U.N. ambassador says he hopes there will be new U.N.-led talks on Syria in Geneva ahead of Russian-brokered talks this month to “reinvigorate” peace efforts.

Vassily Nebenzia told reporters Tuesday that Moscow wants talks among Syrians in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi to contribute to the U.N.-led peace effort in Geneva, which has so far failed.

He expressed hope that a new round of Geneva talks “will be more fruitful, and that it will contribute to Sochi, and then Sochi in reciprocity will contribute to future Genevas.”

At Russia’s request, the Security Council heard a closed-door humanitarian briefing Tuesday on Raqqa, the Syrian city retaken from Islamic State extremists in October.

Nebenzia said the city is devastated and those who fought IS should take responsibility for restoring it.

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