The opposition Syrian National Council is deliberating over whether to attend peace talks next month in Geneva.
An anticipated Syrian government offensive against the jihadi hotbed of Idlib province threatens to draw in multiple foreign powers and unleash massive suffering. Hundreds of thousands of civilians could be displaced.
Syria's northwestern Idlib region — crammed with civilians and rebels close to Turkey — needs Russia's "moderating manner," Chancellor Angela Merkel has told US President Donald Trump, according to her spokesman.
The eighth round of UN-sponsored talks on Syria since 2012 is set to get underway in Geneva, though the Assad regime has not yet named a delegation. Talks hosted by Russia have led to hopes there may be a breakthrough.
The 28 ministers agreed that airstrikes in Syria were understandable and blamed Assad for chemical weapons attacks. The EU reached conclusions despite diverging opinions on how to work with Russia in peace talks.
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