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Syrian Government Says It Will Attend Geneva Talks

The Syrian government says it will attend international peace talks on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, but rejected calls for President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power.

A deputy Foreign Ministry official said the "colonial era is over" in response to comments by British and French officials that Assad will play no role in Syria's political transition.

The official said a Syrian government delegation would not go to Geneva to "surrender power to anyone."

The Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers on November 27 jointly called for a cease-fire before the peace talks begin.

Geneva-2 is scheduled to take place on January 22, though a full list of participants has not yet been set.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said those who were setting preconditions for attending the talks are attempting to obstruct them.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP