UN lowers expectations for first round of Syria peace talks

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UN lowers expectations for first round of Syria peace talks

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Doubt has been cast on whether anything substantial will emerge from the first round of Syria talks being held in Geneva.

Although the week-long discussions continue until Friday, international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has already sounded a sombre note while hoping for better next time round.

“I do not expect that we will achieve anything substantive. I am very happy that we are still talking, that the ice is breaking slowly, but it is breaking. I hope that the second session will be more structured and hopefully more productive.” said Brahimi.

The talks are due to resume after a week’s break but the patience of the Syrian opposition is wearing thin.

‘‘We are committed to the process to find a political solution to end the suffering in Syria, but there will be an end point. Absolutely, we are not going to stay here, you know, month after month just talking without any progress,” said Louay al-Safi, speaking on behalf of the Syrian National Coalition.

On the ground in Homs there has been no sign of a hoped for breakthrough to relieve the besieged rebel-held city.

According to unverified amateur video the shelling there is continuing.