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Delegations of Syrian warring sides admit no progress achieved

English.news.cn   2014-02-15 01:30:48

GENEVA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Delegates of Syrian government and the opposition both admitted on Friday that the second round of the Geneva II conference failed to achieve any progress.

As this round of Syrian peace talks tumbled into the fifth day, UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, the mediator for the peace process, held separate meetings with the rival sides.

The current negotiations stuck in setting the agenda of discussions, witnessing the two sides not budging an inch from their positions.

The government side insisted on stopping violence and terrorism as top priority, while the opposition focused on the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executives and without the presence of President Bashar al-Assad.

At the press conferences held respectively by the two sides on Friday afternoon after the meetings, bleak atmosphere was delivered, with one side accusing another of lacking of commitment.

"I would like to voice our deep regret that this round did not make any progress," said Faisal Makdad, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister.

The senior diplomat reaffirmed that his delegation, aimed to "implement the declared Syrian position in order to reach a political solution to the crisis that Syria is witnessing," insisted that they were willing to discuss the question of the transitional body once an agreement on fighting terrorism was reached.

Makdad accused the other party of ignoring the existence of terrorism in Syria, saying that the opposition side proposed "not realistic" agenda and refused to talk about anything else.

For his part, Louay al-Safi, spokesman of the opposition delegation, acknowledged the stalemate of this round.

"The negotiations have reached an impasse. We have reached a point where we can not overcome this point without there being another team that want to interact with this political solution," said al-Safi, blaming the government delegation for lacking of "responsiveness" to their demands and isolating "issues that are not tied to one another."

Al-Safi reemphasized the 22-point document submitted by his delegation earlier this week, which outlined their proposed steps and principles to guide the transitional process in Syria, including the establishment of transitional governing body, the ceasefire and release of prisoner, etc.

The spokesman appealed for "the international community, particularly to those countries and nations who can make the difference" to promote the political solution and "push this process forward".

After the first round of Geneva II negotiations between the delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition mediated by Brahimi adjourned some 10 days ago without concrete results achieved, the second round resumed here on Monday morning and was expected to end on Friday.

So far it was unclear whether there would be more meetings scheduled on Saturday.

Al-Safi said there was a slim possibility that there is a "short" meeting on Saturday, but up to now his remarks were confirmed neither by Brahimi nor by the government side.

When asked about whether there would be a new round of negotiations, al-Safi told reporters that "it is early for us to say that there would be a third round, but it is our hope."

On Thursday, Brahimi, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov and U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman held a two-hour trilateral meeting in an effort to push forward the stalled Syrian peace talks.

The two initiating countries for Geneva II conference promised to "unblock the situation" and revivify the peaceful process.

But to date no tangible progress has been witnessed, and the two sides of Syria hurled reproaches at each other over the gridlock.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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