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Syria Talks At Risk As Rival Sides Fail To Agree Terms

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The main Syrian opposition bloc has said it will not attend peace talks scheduled to begin in Geneva on Friday, in another setback to diplomatic efforts to end the five-year-long war. The High Negotiations Committee (HNC), an opposition platform created in Saudi Arabia last month, said its delegation would not attend the talks because they had not received convincing answers from the UN to a set of demands for their participation.

Their conditions include a lifting of sieges, a halt to air strikes and the release of wrongfully detained prisoners of conscience.  “For certain we will not head to Geneva and there will not be a delegation from the High Negotiations Committee tomorrow in Geneva,” George Sabra, a member of HNC was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency on Thursday.  The already delayed talks have been mired in controversy and disagreements over who should attend representing the oppositon.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Geneva, said: “The Syrian talks process is going to start without one of the main delegations present. “Diplomats say the High Negotiations Committee based in Riyadh faces a difficult decision but I think in the end they will come here in a few days’ time,”  he added.

Aljazeera.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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