Syrian talks haven't achieved much: Brahimi

Syrian talks haven't achieved much: Brahimi
Sun Jan 26, 2014 09:28:35

International mediator for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has said a first day of face-to-face talks between Syria's opposing sides have not yielded significant results but he has hoped they would lead to aid supplies reaching the besieged city of Homs.

"We haven't achieved much but we are continuing," Brahimi told a news conference on Saturday after two meetings between the government and opposition delegations at United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said if an agreement could be reached on Sunday, a humanitarian convoy could move into Homs city the next day. He also said he planned to discuss on Sunday prisoner releases by both two sides. Brahimi said that he set out his plans in the morning meeting for the progress of the talks over the coming weeks.

"The situation is very difficult and very, very complicated, and we are moving not in steps, but half-steps," Brahimi said after about three hours acting as a buffer between the two sides.

Sitting face to face at a U-shaped table and separated by Brahimi, President Bashar al-Assad's delegation and the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) avoided directly touching on the war dividing them - or discussing President Assad himself.

Their movements choreographed, they entered by separate doors and said they would speak only to Brahimi, and not to each other.

"One is on the left and one on right and they face one another and they talk to each other - through me, to one another," he said. "This is what happens in civilized discussions."

The peace conference intended to forge a path out of the foreign-hatched unrest that has killed more than 130,000 people has been on the verge of collapse since it was first convened 18 months ago.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly crisis since March 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- support the militants operating inside the country.


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