Delegates are bracing themselves for a tough day of talks in Geneva when it is hoped Syrian government and opposition negotiators will get down to discussing the country’s political future.
It is the central issue which divides the two sides after three years of civil war.
At least Sunday saw some progress on the humanitarian front with the government saying it will allow women and children out of besieged Homs.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad declared the Syrian government’s position:
“If the terrorists in the city of Homs allow these children and women to move and to leave the old city of Homs we shall allow them immediately every access and not only that, we shall provide them with shelter, we shall provide them with medicine and we shall provide them with all the needed necessities for their daily life,” said al-Mikdad.
But will the progress stop if only one side wants to talk about a Syria without President Assad?
Syrian National Coalition member Louay Safi is determined to get the issue on the negotiating table:
“We’ll start talking about transition from dictatorship to democracy. Clearly, the regime is not enthusiastic to talk about that and they are stalling, were stalling. They are trying to use delay tactics, trying to go into details about information that can’t be verified,” said Safi.
The city of Homs occupies a strategic location in the centre of the country and has been a key battleground. Despite the Syrian government’s qualified offer to allow civilians out and some movement on prisoner exchanges, the two sides remain locked in loathing for each other.