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Second round of Geneva II talks over Syria kicks off, rift remains

English.news.cn   2014-02-10 23:31:43

GENEVA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Syrian government and opposition delegates resume the second round of talks Monday morning.

After the first round of Geneva II negotiations between the warring sides mediated by UN-Arab League joint envoy Lakhdar Brahimi adjourned some ten days ago without concrete results achieved, the second round resumed here this morning saw little rift healed so far.

Syria Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad reiterated to reporters that their priority was to stop the violence and terrorism in the war-torn country, and moved point by point to the other items of the Geneva communique, concluded in June 2012. He also stressed the threat posed by the terrorism taking place in Syria to the country itself and to the region.

Louay al-Safi, the opposition delegation's spokesman, revealed that they stuck to their demands of establishing transitional governing body with full executives. He told reporters that his delegation provided their own visions and principles in regard of the establishment of transitional government in this morning's talks.

The first day began with separate closed-door meetings between Brahimi with the opposition delegations and subsequently with the government side, in an effort to set an agenda for the new round of talks which were expected to last a whole week.

Corinne Momal-Vanian, spokeswoman with the United Nations Office at Geneva, said this afternoon that Monday's discussions chiefly involved "questions relating to the cessation of violence and terrorism and the establishment of a transitional governing body in accordance with the Geneva Communique."

The UN-backed international conference dubbed Geneva II and aimed at ending a three-year-long conflict in Syria, gathered representatives from both the Syrian government and the opposition for the first time in three years in its first round, and again in this fresh round.

The order of discussed issues was a sticking point during first round of negotiations, with the government side insisting to take stopping terrorism as top priority, while the opposition focusing on the establishment of a transitional governing body.

Evacuating women and children from the rebel-held old city of Homs was also discussed between the two sides in the first round.

Under an agreement recently concluded between Damascus and the UN, over 600 civilians were evacuated from the old quarter of Homs in central Syria on Sunday, and 60 food parcels were delivered to civilians inside the city by UN vehicles.

Governor of Homs, Talal Barazi, said on Sunday that most of the evacuees were women, children and old men, who would receive proper care and medical treatment, adding that the evacuation could continue for the next three days.

The agreement led to a temporal ceasefire between government troops and rebels which went into effect on Feb. 7, but the truce was reportedly breached.


Third shipment chemical weapons material leaves Syria: OPCW

THE HAGUE, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- A third shipment of chemical weapons material left Syria on Monday, said the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

According to a statement of the OPCW, with its headquarters in The Hague, the material is on board a Norwegian cargo vessel accompanied by a naval escort from China, Denmark, Norway, and Russia.   Full story

Syrian rebel attack kills 42 in Hama: army

DAMASCUS, Feb.10 (Xinhua) -- The general command of the Syrian army said Monday that the rebels' attack a day earlier against a town in the central province of Hama killed as many as 42 people.

The al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front killed 42 people after storming the town of Ma'an on Sunday, the Syrian military said in a statement.   Full story

460 civilians evacuated from Syria's old Homs

DAMASCUS, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- A total of 460 civilians were evacuated Monday from the besieged old city of Homs in central Syria, the governor of Homs was quoted by the official SANA news agency as saying.

Most of the evacuees were women, children and elderly people, said Governor Talal Barazi, noting the possibility of evacuating more civilians from the rebel-held area.   Full story

Editor: Liu Dan
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