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Some Progress Reported At Syria Talks

Free Syrian Army fighters fire a homemade mortar at Karm al-Tarab neighborhood in Aleppo on January 27.
Syrian opposition and government representatives say there appears to have been some small progress at peace talks in Geneva.

Both sides said on January 29 they agreed to examine the "Geneva communique," a United Nations-backed document agreed upon by international powers in mid-2012.

The document sets out steps to end the fighting and urges the establishment of a transitional government.

The opposition says President Bashar al-Assad cannot be part of any transitional administration.

Assad's voluntary exit from power, however, has been repeatedly rejected by the government.

The government also insists that the first priority must be to battle terrorism in Syria.

The government, pointing to the presence of Islamist extremists among rebel forces, describes those fighting to oust Assad's regime as terrorists supported by Western countries and Persian Gulf monarchies.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters