Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would keep "fighting terrorism" while peace talks took place and saw a risk of Saudi and Turkish intervention in the Syrian conflict, according to an interview with news agency AFP published on Friday. Assad said he would retake the whole country, but that this could take a long time, according to excerpts of the interview published on AFP's website. The interview, which AFP said was Assad's first in about two months, took place in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Thursday before the conclusion of talks in Munich where major powers agreed to a ceasefire in Syria to begin in a week.
By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura is very keen to hold a new round of peace talks after big powers agreed on a "cessation of hostilities", a U.N. spokesman said on Friday, but plans to reconvene the negotiations were still "cloudy". De Mistura abruptly suspended a first round of talks on Feb. 3, saying there was more work to be done by the big powers sponsoring the talks between the Syrian sides, but he hoped to bring them back to the table in Geneva by Feb. 25. The big powers, led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, struck a deal in Munich early on Friday to start to bring an end to hostilities in a week and to provide rapid humanitarian access to a handful of besieged Syrian towns as a first step.