Syria peace talks stalled over political transition: envoys

Syria peace talks stalled over political transition: envoys
Mon Jan 27, 2014 16:46:50

Syrian peace talks in Geneva were deadlocked after a session Monday aimed at tackling the issue of a transfer of power, delegation sources from the warring sides said.

The sources said the talks had broken up with no progress after the Syria envoys set out a statement of principles aimed at preserving state institutions and stopping the threat from "terrorist" groups.

The opposition rejected the statement, saying talks needed to focus on a political transition based on their own will, and UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi ended the session, the sources said.

A source close to Syria envoys told AFP the opposition had rejected discussion of anything other than the creation of a transitional government based on their own demand.

"The government delegation presented a statement on essential principles to save Syria, the State and its people from extremist terrorism," the source said.

"As soon as it finished the Coalition rejected this statement and demanded that we talk only of a transitional body. Mr Brahimi then adjourned the session," the source said.

Monday marked the third day of UN-sponsored talks between the two sides in Geneva and the first expected to deal with political issues.

The opposition says President Bashar al-Assad must leave power and a transitional government be formed.

The government says Assad's role is not up for debate at this conference -- dubbed Geneva II -- and denies that the initial Geneva deal requires him to go. They said the issue must be done within national referendum and elections.


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