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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

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

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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