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Syrian Opposition Leader Rejects Moscow Talks With Regime

A key Syrian opposition official says he has rejected a Russian invitation to peace talks in Moscow with Syrian government officials.

Moaz al-Khatib, the former leader of the main opposition Syrian National Coalition who now heads his own movement, said on his Facebook page on January 9 "the necessary conditions" for a talks have not yet been met.

Khatib -- who attended talks with Syrian officials in November -- noted the shelling by the government of President Bashar al-Assad of opposition areas in Syria as a reason to refuse the Moscow offer for talks later this month.

Khatib's statement comes four days after Syrian National Coalition head Khalid Khoja rejected Moscow's offer.

A key ally of Assad, Russia invited 28 Syrian opposition figures to the talks.

The Syrian civil war has killed more than 200,000 people since it started in 2011.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax