UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi speaks during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 29, 2014. Brahimi Wednesday said that the gaps between the two parties were huge, and he did not expect to achieve substantive results from the ongoing Syria peaceful talks. (Xinhua/Wang Siwei)
GENEVA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi Wednesday said that the gaps between the two parties were huge, and he did not expect to achieve substantive results from the ongoing Syria peaceful talks.
Brahimi told a press conference after today's meetings that the fifth day of joint meetings between delegations of Syria government and the opposition involved tentative discussions on transitional governing body.
"We talked about the transitional governing body, but of course it's a very, very preliminary discussion," Brahimi said.
Both sides were willing to continue the talks, but the gap between the two sides were "quite large", as Brahimi noted.
Humanitarian issues, in particular about Homs, were also among the topics for today's meeting, according to Brahimi, who said that negotiations between the United Nations and the Syrian authorities were still going on.
The UN mediator added that this round of talks was expected to conclude on Friday when they will discuss over the date to resume the next session, "most probably after about one week."
The special envoy said he did not expect "anything substantive" could be achieved from this first time.
"This (first time) is exactly what I thought we would do, is just talk to one another and also agree that we will continue talking to one another. So this is what we have achieved," said Brahimi, hoping the second round" will be more structured and hopefully more productive."
Representatives of the two parties Wednesday held discussions within the framework of Geneva Communique which was adopted after Geneva I, the first international conference on Syria held here in 2012.
But the two sides were at odds in regard to the order of discussion of issues. The government side insisted that stopping terrorism was their top priority, while the opposition tried to focus on establishment of a transitional governing body.
GENEVA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Representatives of the Syrian government and opposition on Wednesday commenced a fifth day of talks amid differences over the proposed role of a transitional government and the future of President Bashar al-Assad.
The two sides were at odds in regard to the order of discussion of issues to be discussed under the framework of Geneva Communique adopted after the first round of Syria talks last year. Full story
DAMASCUS, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- The governor of Syria's central Homs province said Wednesday that authorities are prepared to evacuate trapped civilians in Homs' old quarters held by rebels, denying aid convoys are to enter the area.
Speaking to Xinhua, Talal Barazi said the authorities were waiting for a response from the rebel groups inside the besieged area through a UN resident coordinator Yacoub al Helou, who was shuttling between the two sides to secure the evacuation. Full story
DAMASCUS, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Syria's domestically-based opposition group National Coordination Body (NCB) said Wednesday that the convening of the Geneva II peace conference represents a shift for Syria's long-running conflict toward a political solution.
"Holding the Geneva II conference based on international consensus is an indication of shift from the use of force and violence to a political process," Hasan Abdul-Azim, head of the NCB, said at a press conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus. Full story