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Middle east

Brahimi ‘apologises’ for lack of Syria talks progress

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-15

UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi (photo) ended the second round of direct talks held in Geneva between the Syrian government and opposition Saturday without finding a way of breaking the impasse or setting a date for a third round.

Saturday’s talks, which lasted less than half an hour, left the future of the negotiating process in doubt.

“I apologise that these two rounds have not come out with very much,” Brahimi said.
Brahimi also told a press conference that he had proposed an agenda for another round of talks that would first focus on ending the violence in Syria and then examine how to create a transitional governing body.

“Unfortunately, the government has refused,” he told reporters, saying he would now seek consultations with the United States and Russia, the main sponsors of the peace conference, and the United Nations to see how to proceed.

Brahimi stated that the regime’s refusal had raised the “suspicion of the opposition that the government doesn't want to discuss a transitional governing body at all."

The latest round of talks aimed at finding some way out of Syria’s civil war lasted for a sixth consecutive day at U.N. European headquarters in Geneva, while the violence kept escalating back home for Syrians.

Future of talks 'not clear'

“Everybody needs to go back to their base and we will contact each other to determine the coming date. It is not clear,” Brahimi said.

Despite the hostility between the two delegations that has produced little more than public displays of acrimony and sparring before the TV cameras, the opposition said it continued to hold out hope for a political solution.

Anas al-Abdeh, a member of the opposition negotiating team, said his side accepted the agenda but the government's unwillingness to go along with it has put the prospects of a third session of talks within the "Geneva 2'' negotiating round in doubt. The first peace conference, dubbed "Geneva 1,'' produced a roadmap for peace in June 2012 that was not followed.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP, AP)

 

Date created : 2014-02-15

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