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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. Plus, a look at Vladimir Putin's international image.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. Plus, a look at Vladimir Putin's international image.

January 22nd, 2014
05:31 PM ET

Syria defiant at conference; Kerry rules out al-Assad

(CNN) – A preliminary session of Syrian peace talks meant to end three years of bloodshed was an important "first, small step," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday after a morning of bitter exchanges.

Speaking to reporters after the first leg of talks, Ban said a "difficult road" lay ahead, but the time had come for negotiations.

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