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At heart of Syria talks, what to do about Assad

The success or failure of the Syrian peace talks this week is tied to the fate of one man who's not even at the table: President Bashar Assad.

Neither Assad nor any of his representatives are in Vienna, where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and senior diplomats from almost 20 other countries began negotiations Thursday. But his future is at the heart of all the talks.

The broad group of governments — an unprecedented collection of countries on the Syria issue — is looking for a plan that might convince Syria's government and its Western-backed rebels to agree to a national cease-fire and start a long process of "political transition."

Even bitter...

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