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UN mediator says sorry as Syria peace talks fail again

Last Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 10:07

Zee Media Bureau

Geneva: The second round negotiations of the Geneva-II international conference on Syria collapsed without achieving tangible results on Saturday, said UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

“I think it is better that every side goes back and reflects on their responsibility, (and on whether) they want this process to continue or not,” Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters in Geneva.

Speaking on the final day of a second round of talks that have been mired from the start by blame-trading over the violence ravaging Syria, he apologised to the Syrian people for not making progress.
Brahimi said a proposed agenda for the next round of talks was agreed between delegates of the Syrian government and the Opposition, but did not reveal the exact date, Xinhua reported.

Addressing a press conference in the wake of the "laborious" last session held on Saturday, he said an agenda for the next round of dialogue "when it does take place" was accepted by both sides.

The four-point agenda included fighting violence and terrorism, the transitional governing body, national institutions, as well as national reconciliation and national debate, according to Brahimi.

Brahimi suggested that during the new round, the first day would be reserved for discussions over fighting against violence and terrorism, and the second day about the transitional governing body.

But the special envoy noted that the specific negotiating time-length devoted to respective items remained a sticking point.

He said that the Syrian government delegation accepted the agenda, but refused the suggested time-length of discussions on stopping the violence and terrorism and insisted on moving to the second item only when the first one was finished.
Brahimi said that this position "raises the suspicion of the opposition that the government did not want to discuss the transitional governing body".

"I very, very much hope that the two sides will reflect and think a little bit better and come back ready to engage seriously on how to implement the Geneva Communique (issued June 30, 2012)," he said.

"The Geneva Communique is not an end in itself and The Geneva Communique helps the two sides, and us sitting between them, to start the long road towards ending this crisis," he added.

With IANS inputs

First Published: Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 02:09

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