Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said that his delegation was prepared to walk out if efforts to secure a face-to-face meeting with opposition representatives fail.

The Syrian government and opposition have reached an agreement to sit down for their first ever direct talks, UN and Arab League mediator Lakhar Ibrahimi announced, rescuing the delayed negotiations.

In a press conference following a series of meetings with the delegations, Mr. Ibrahimi said that in a bid to “save Syria” the two sides struck a deal to begin three—party talks on Saturday, talks which had originally been slated to begin earlier Friday.

“The discussion I had with the two parties were encouraging and we are looking forward to our meetings tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon,” Ibrahimi said.

“We never expected it to be easy — and we are sure it will not be — but I am sure that the two parties understand what is at sake.”

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