Cease-fire violations by Syrian gov. threatens peace talks in Turkey

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BEIRUT (AP) Turkey says repeated cease-fire violations by the Syrian government are threatening to derail scheduled peace talks in Kazakhstan.

Speaking to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Iran needed to address the cease-fire violations in Syria by the government and its allies.

Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and a guarantor of a tenuous cease-fire agreement that came into force shortly before the new year. Turkey is a sponsor of the Syrian opposition.

The cease-fire is supposed to prepare the way for talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, in late January between the government and the opposition. Those talks will be brokered by Russia, Iran, and Turkey.

Cavusoglu says the Astana process "might fail if we cannot stop the escalating violations."

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