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Kerry Seeking 'Clarity' On Scheduled Syrian Peace Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he hopes to have "clarity" within 24 to 48 hours on Syrian peace talks that are supposed to begin this week.

Speaking to reporters in Laos on January 25, Kerry also said he agreed with the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, that invitations for the talks should not be sent out until "all pieces are lined up."

The talks were due to begin on January 25 in Geneva but will almost certainly be delayed because of disagreements with Russia and Iran, which support the Syrian government, over which groups can represent the opposition.

The conflict, which broke out after an uprising in 2011, has killed an estimated 250,000 people and displaced a further 11 million.

Kerry also said that recent statements from Syrian officials that they will make no concessions at the negotiating table and complaints from opposition figures that they are being forced into the talks reflect only "tensions" and "rumors."

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters