Germany says Syria ceasefire talks to take place this afternoon

BERLIN (Reuters) - A task force set up to discuss a planned cessation of hostilities in Syria will meet for the first time in Geneva on Friday afternoon, the German foreign ministry said. "We expect that there will be a first meeting of the ceasefire task force this afternoon in Geneva. The Russians and Americans are chairing this meeting," ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said. "We know that there are intensive talks taking place. We expect progress to be made. Germany will also participate in the meeting this afternoon. And that could lead to agreement on a significant reduction in violence between all parties that participated in the Vienna talks." He added that Russian and American officials were meeting beforehand to prepare the broader meeting. (Writing by Noah Barkin; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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