GENEVA, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The head of the Syrian government delegation said Friday that central issues in ongoing Syria peace talks had not been discussed, adding his delegation's participation in this latest round of negotiations had ended.
"In this round, we didn't discuss at all any of the four baskets," Bashar al-Jaafari told the press, referring to the issues of governance, new constitution, elections and the war on terrorism.
These are the key topics of contention on which rival delegations continue to fail to see eye-to-eye.
Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) spokesperson Salem al-Meslet highlighted in a recent statement that "our approach to Syria's future is clear."
"Our country must be governed by the consent of the people, under the rule of law and with every citizen free from fear of violence, by the state, by terrorists, by foreign armed forces," he continued.
UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks are expected to end Friday merely three days after resuming on May 16, in line with what UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said would be a short and business-like exercise.
The latest round of intra-Syrian peace talks will be the third to take place between the warring factions since the start of this year.
While some progress on the humanitarian front has been achieved since negotiations resumed in earnest at the start of 2016, opposing delegations remain at odds as to what a future, peaceful Syria, might look like.
De Mistura's job is to help bridge the wide gaps between rival factions, while ensuring that any outcome is in line with UN Security Council resolutions.
Despite the lack of headway on the political track, the UN stands by its commitment to pursue peace through political negotiations to prevent further bloodshed in a country where as many as 400,000 people have died and millions more have fled their homes.