Syrian government envoy denounces rebel leader's 'provocative' speech at peace talks

A Syrian government envoy has denounced a speech by a rebel leader as "provocative" and "insolent" at peace talks in Kazakhstan.

Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's UN ambassador, said rebel leader Mohammad Alloush's speech in Astana did not rise to the level of the gathering of diplomats attending the conference.

Mr Ja'afari repeatedly referred to the rebel delegation as representatives of "terrorist armed groups".

He also said that the agenda for the talks, which are sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran, is "not ready yet".

The harsh and uncompromising tone of Mr Ja'afari's remarks do not augur well for the summit, which had barely started following an opening ceremony and speeches by various representatives.

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