BEIRUT (AP) " 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.