Syrian government says peace talks need to start slowly

GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria's U.N. ambassador, Bashar Jaafari, head of the government delegation at the Geneva peace talks, rejected opposition demands on Sunday to move quickly into substantive talks about a political transition when negotiations start on Monday.

"There's nothing called a transitional period," Jaafari said. "These are wordings that we have to be careful about. This discussion will come at the appropriate time," he said, adding the talks needed to work on preparatory issues first.

(Reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi, writing by Tom Miles, editing by Larry King)