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'Tehran denied US to talk to Syrian delegation'

Posted on Feb 02 2014 | IANS

Damascus, Feb 2 : Syria's foreign minister said Saturday that Washington had expressed a desire to negotiate with the Syrian delegation during the Geneva II conference but Tehran rejected the demand.

"The Americans asked to negotiate with them directly in Montreux, Switzerland, but we have rejected the proposal, demanding an apology from (US Secretary of State John) Kerry first," Xinhua quoted Walid al- Moallem as saying onboard a plane to Damascus from Geneva.

Kerry, during the opening session of the Geneva II peace talks, said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must have no role in the future transitional period of Syria, contending Syria not safe "while Assad remains in power".

The first round of Geneva II talks concluded Friday with no concrete progress. The second round is set to begin Feb 10.

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