UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi attends a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Feb. 11, 2014. Brahimi on Tuesday said that little progress has been achieved since the start of the second round of Syria peace talks, also known as the Geneva II conference, resumed one day earlier. He appealed to speed up actions to make this process a reality and help lift Syria out of the mire. (Xinhua/Wang Siwei)
GENEVA, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi Tuesday said that little progress has been achieved since the start of the second round of Syria peace talks resumed one day earlier.
After today's meetings, which was adjourned at noon after the envoy met with the two sides "simultaneously" this morning, Brahimi told a press conference that the negotiations were as "laborious" as the first round did.
"We are not making much progress. We will do our very best to make this process take off," said Brahimi, appealing to speed up actions to make this process a reality and help lift Syria out of the mire.
The mediator stressed that to push forward the process requires both the cooperation from the two warring sides and the supports from outside.
As for the UN-Russia-U.S. meeting scheduled to be held on Friday, Brahimi said that it is a "consultative" and "routine" meeting between himself, Russia and the United States, the two initiating sides for the Geneva II conference on Syria. But Brahimi did not reveal the agenda or details of the upcoming trilateral meeting.
Moreover, the mediator hailed the current situation of Homs as a "success" though it took months to achieve it, and then he called for attention to other besieged areas in the unchanged dire situation in the war-torn country.
According to statistics from Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, with the humanitarian pause in the old city of Homs which was extended for a further three days, by far over 1000 people, including women, children and old men, were evacuated from the besieged.
After the first round of Geneva II negotiations between the warring sides mediated by Brahimi adjourned some ten days ago without concrete results achieved, the second round resumed here on Monday morning but saw little rift healed so far.
The two sides did not budge from their main positions, with the government side insisting to take stopping violence and terrorism as top priority, while the opposition focusing on the establishment of a transitional governing body.
In an effort to solve the sticking point, Brahimi noted that he suggested the two sides in a memorandum sent by himself to them in advance of this fresh round of talks to discuss the two issues in parallel, saying that "they are both important matters".
But the two sides still maintained their principles, with one accused of the other lacking of commitment and seriousness.
Syria Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad insisted this afternoon that putting an end to terrorism and stopping blood shedding in Syria "should be the top priority for any Syrian who wishes to allow and to give a chance for Syrians to live peacefully", while Louay al-Safi, the opposition delegation's spokesman, reaffirmed their demand to start talks with the transitional governing body, "because we believe it is the way to tackle all the other issues, including violence and terrorism."
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- More than 1,130 people have been evacuated from Syria's old city of Homs, since the agreed " humanitarian pause" for the long besieged city started four days ago, a UN spokesperson said on Tuesday.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 1,130 people have so far been evacuated from Homs old city, all reporting starvation conditions, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said at a daily news briefing. Full story
MOSCOW, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Russia's foreign minister on Tuesday described the UN Security Council's draft resolution on Syria as "counterproductive" and the ideas proposed by Western partners as "absolutely one-sided and detached from reality."
Sergei Lavrov told a news briefing that the proposals on aid access -- presented by Australia, Luxemboug and Jordan -- ignored the efforts made to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria and blamed the Syrian government for the situation, saying it was the armed rebels hampering supplies. Full story