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Syrian officials say they will participate in peace talks

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BAGHDAD (AP) — The Syrian government says it has agreed "in principle" to take part in an international conference in Geneva next month aimed at ending the country's civil war.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem says his government believes that the conference, proposed by Russia and the United States, is a "good opportunity for a political solution for the crisis in Syria."

Al-Moallem did not elaborate in the joint Sunday news conference with his Iraqi counterpart shortly after he arrived in Baghdad for an unannounced visit.

The Syrian crisis began in March 2011 with pro-democracy protests and morphed into a bloody civil war. More than 70,000 people have been killed and several million displaced since the uprising against President Bashar Assad erupted.

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