France: Assad advance on Aleppo threatens peace talks

June 12, 2013 10:14

PARIS - The Syrian opposition will likely boycott proposed peace talks with President Bashar Assad's government unless its forces halt their advance towards the rebel stronghold of Aleppo, France said on Wednesday.

Forces loyal to Assad are massing around Aleppo in preparation for an offensive to retake the city and build on battlefield gains that have swung the momentum of Syria's war to Assad and his Hezbollah allies."We must stop this advance," Fabius said on France 2 television. "We must stop this because if the balance in the situation on the ground is not restored, then there will not be a conference in Geneva. The opposition won't agree to come."

The United States and Russia are trying to bring Assad's government and his opponents together in Geneva in July, but are still at odds over several issues before the talks can begin.

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