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Int’l envoy apologizes for Syria talks failure

Int’l envoy apologizes for Syria talks failure

PanARMENIAN.Net - The UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has apologized to the Syrian people after peace talks in Geneva ended without making progress, according to BBC News.

He had held final discussions with both sides in Geneva in a last-ditch bid to break the stalemate between the Syrian government and opposition. He said the main sticking point was the government, which refused again to talk about a transitional governing body.

The conflict in Syria has claimed more than 100,000 lives since March 2011. Some 9.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

The discussions on Saturday, Feb 15 morning lasted just 27 minutes, after which Brahimi emerged looking tired to address reporters, the BBC says.

Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people, admitting that the talks "had not come out with very much".

Although the two sides had agreed on an agenda for the next round, Brahimi said the government had rejected his suggestion to begin a third round by spending a day focusing on combating violence and terrorism, and a second day discussing a transitional government.

Brahimi said the government's stance "raises the suspicion of the opposition that the government doesn't want to discuss [a transitional government] at all."

Brahimi said both sides needed "to go back to their base" for consultations and to think about whether they wanted the process to continue or not. He said no date had been set for a third round of talks.

So far, the only agreement in the latest negotiations was to allow civilians to leave the besieged city of Homs and aid to enter.

Otherwise the talks, which started six days ago, have failed to narrow the gap between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition.

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