GLOBAL ECONOMY

Syrian state media says talks should focus on terrorism

FILE - In this file photo posted on the Twitter page of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front on March 28, 2015, which is consistent with AP reporting, a fighter from Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front holds his group flag as he stands in front of the governor building in Idlib province, north Syria. Clashes between two extremist factions in northwestern Syria have left dozens of fighters dead on both sides and raised fears of more deadly violence between groups battling President Bashar Assad's troops ahead of U.N.-brokered peace talks later this month. (Al-Nusra Front Twitter page via AP, File)

FILE - In this file photo posted on the Twitter page of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front on March 28, 2015, which is consistent with AP reporting, a fighter from Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front holds his group flag as he stands in front of the governor building in Idlib province, north Syria. Clashes between two extremist factions in northwestern Syria have left dozens of fighters dead on both sides and raised fears of more deadly violence between groups battling President Bashar Assad's troops ahead of U.N.-brokered peace talks later this month. (Al-Nusra Front Twitter page via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Syrian state-owned newspaper says talks with the opposition in Kazakhstan will not be "fruitful" unless they are focused on fighting terrorism.

The two-day conference in Astana that begins Wednesday is aimed at strengthening a Dec. 30 cease-fire. The government has long referred to all those fighting against it, including mainstream rebels, as "terrorists."

A Tuesday editorial in Al-Baath daily said "without fighting terrorism and defeating terrorists, any solution will not be fruitful."

The cease-fire does not include al-Qaida's branch in Syria and the Islamic State group.

A new round of U.N.-brokered peace talks for Syria is scheduled for Feb. 23. Several previous attempts to end the civil war, which began nearly six years ago, have failed.