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New round of Syrian peace talks begins in Geneva

A new round of meetings involving the Syrian Constitutional Committee seeking a solution to the ongoing war in Syria started in Geneva on Monday.

Members of the "Small Group" responsible for writing the constitution, consisting of 15 representatives from the Bashar Assad regime, non-governmental organizations, and the Syrian opposition, met for the eighth round of talks at a Geneva hotel under UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen.

The last round of talks for a solution to the war in Syria ended in Geneva on March 25, with none of the parties offering any signs that they would proceed to another level of negotiations.

On Friday, Jenifer Fenton, the special envoy's spokesperson, told journalists that Pedersen was in Damascus last week.

He met the regime's foreign minister, other officials, and their chief representative of the constitutional committee.

"The special envoy then traveled to Turkey, where he met with members of the Syrian opposition. Mr. Pederson is scheduled to brief the (UN) Security Council in closed session next week," Fenton said.

There had been a slight breakthrough during the sixth-round meetings in Geneva on Oct. 18-22, when the Assad regime's delegation co-chair Ahmed Kuzbari sat at the same table for the first time with the co-chair of the opposition Hadi al-Bahra.

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