No practical results expected in 1st round of talks: Brahimi

No practical results expected in 1st round of talks: Brahimi
Thu Jan 30, 2014 09:53:35

The ice is slowly breaking in peace talks between Syria's warring sides, UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday, warning though that no substantive results were expected during this round.

"The ice is breaking, slowly, but it is breaking," Brahimi told reporters after a fifth day of talks in Geneva, which both sides described as "positive."

He acknowledged he did not expect "anything substantive" to come out of the initial round, which is set to conclude Friday.

But he stressed that simply getting the parties talking for the first time since the conflict erupted in March 2011 was an important step forward.

"These people have not sat together for three years. They do not expect that there'll be a magic wand," Brahimi said, insisting he was "not disappointed."

The delegations from Syria and the opposition National Coalition are set to determine Friday when they will return to Geneva, likely after a week, Brahimi said.

"I hope that the second session will be more structured and hopefully more productive than the first session," he said.

The discussions had finally focused on the Geneva I communique -- the never-implemented roadmap to peace put out by global powers during talks here in 2012 -- but the two sides disagree sharply on what part of the text the talks should focus on.

The opposition says creating the transitional government called for in the Geneva I communique must be the first step towards a political solution, and insists this will require Assad to leave power.

The Syrian envoys deny the text requires Assad to step down and says his role is not up for debate at this conference.


string(684) "[{"id":"1559926","sort":"3159274","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/01/27/alalam_635264521171038547_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Ex-world leaders, Iran call for ending Syria war"} ,{"id":"1559960","sort":"3159275","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/01/27/alalam_635264599588964678_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria talks to continue despite deadlock: Brahimi"} ,{"id":"1560267","sort":"3159276","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/01/28/alalam_635265367184407863_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria calls on US to stop arming Syria militants"} ,{"id":"1560593","sort":"3159277","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/01/29/alalam_635266255501975195_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria foes say Geneva talks 'positive'"} ]"