Syrian government delegation to head to Geneva for talks

DAMASCUS: Syria's foreign minister says a government delegation will head to Geneva Sunday to take part in indirect peace talks with the opposition.

Walid al-Moallem told reporters Saturday that the government team will not stay more than 24 hours in Geneva if the opposition does not show up.

The talks are scheduled to begin Monday.

The last round of indirect talks collapsed on February 3 over a Russian-backed government offensive in Aleppo. The latest talks come amid a two-week partial cease-fire that has mostly held.

Al-Moallem rejected comments made by UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, who said presidential elections will be held within 18 months.

Al-Moallem said: "Neither he nor anyone else has the right to talk about presidential elections. This is an exclusive right of the Syrian people."