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Syrian foreign minister says talks 'did not fail'

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem denied on Sunday that a second round of peace talks with the opposition had failed, insisting that "important progress" was made in Geneva. "The second round did not fail, contrary to media analyses that have appeared and the reactions of the foreign ministers for France and Britain," Muallem said as he headed back home from Switzerland. The second round of peace talks between the Syrian regime and the opposition broke off Saturday in Geneva, with no date set for a third round.

Syria rejected US talks bid without Kerry apology

Syria's foreign minister said Sunday his delegation had rejected a US request for direct talks unless Secretary of State John Kerry apologised for his remarks at the Geneva II talks. "The Americans asked us to negotiate directly with them in Montreux," Walid Muallem told Syrian state media on the plane home from 10 days of peace talks in the Swiss cities of Montreux and Geneva. "But we refused to do so before Secretary of State John Kerry apologised for what he said at the conference," Muallem added, in remarks carried by state news agency SANA.

Syria rejected US talks bid without Kerry apology

Syria's foreign minister said Saturday his delegation had rejected a US request for direct talks unless Secretary of State John Kerry apologised for his remarks at the Geneva II talks. "The Americans asked us to negotiate directly with them in Montreux," Walid Muallem told Syrian state media on the plane home from 10 days of peace talks in the Swiss cities of Montreux and Geneva. "But we refused to do so before Secretary of State John Kerry apologised for what he said at the conference," Muallem added, in remarks carried by state news agency SANA.

No 'tangible results' in peace talks: Syrian foreign minister

A week of UN-brokered peace talks between Syria's opposition and government failed to achieve any tangible results, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Friday. "I regret to tell you that we have not reached tangible results during this week," he told reporters after the closed-door negotiations wrapped up. nl-jwf/dh

Syria regime threatens to quit peace talks: state TV

Damascus is threatening to quit peace talks in Geneva if the regime and opposition fail to hold "serious sessions" by Saturday, state television said. Foreign Minister Walid "Muallem has told (UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar) Brahimi that should serious sessions fail to take place by tomorrow, the official Syrian delegation will leave Geneva," the channel said Friday. rim/ser/al

US calls on Syria to immediately open up aid corridors

The United States on Wednesday urged Syria to prove its commitment to alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people and immediately open up corridors to allow in vital humanitarian aid. "If the regime wants to make progress on humanitarian access, then it could immediately approve all proposed convoy movements requested by the UN," a US official said. And he hit out at claims by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem that the regime was giving access to aid convoys to reach the stricken people, saying the comments were "laughable."

Syria FM calls opposition 'traitors' at peace talks

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem dubbed the country's opposition "traitors" and foreign "agents" as a peace conference opened in Switzerland on Wednesday. "They claim to represent the Syrian people. If you want to speak in the name of the Syrian people, you should not be traitors to the Syrian people, agents in the pay of enemies of the Syrian people," Muallem said in a strongly-worded speech as the meeting got under way in the lakeside city of Montreux.

Only Syrians can choose the president, FM tells Kerry

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem chided Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday after the American diplomat ruled out any role for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a new government. "Mr Kerry, no one in the world has the right to confer or withdraw the legitimacy of a president, a constitution or a law, except for the Syrians themselves," Muallem said at the opening of peace talks in the Swiss city of Montreux. rd-ram/jkb/mm/ec

Syria minister spars with UN chief for time to talk

Syria's foreign minister insisted Tuesday he should be permitted to speak as long as he needed at a peace conference for his country, brushing aside UN chief Ban Ki-moon's calls for him to conclude. "You live in New York and I live in Syria... I have the right to give the Syrian version here in this forum," Walid Muallem defiantly replied after Ban urged him to wrap up his long address. Each of the 45 speakers set to address the long-awaited peace conference for Syria in the Swiss town of Montreux had been allotted seven minutes to speak.

Syria FM at peace talks calls opposition 'traitors'

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem called the country's opposition "traitors" and foreign "agents" as a peace conference opened in Switzerland on Wednesday. "They claim to represent the Syrian people. If you want to speak in the name of the Syrian people, you should not be traitors to the Syrian people, agents in the pay of enemies of the Syrian people," Muallem said in opening remarks. ram-mm/jwf/ec
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