16/02/14 00:00 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
The Geneva peace talks on Syria drew to a close on Saturday with little evidence of progress.
One of very few agreements made at the talks was to organise a third round of talks. However no date has yet been set.
UN international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologised to the Syrian people for the meagre developments.
“The little that has been achieved in Homs, gave them even more hope that maybe this is the beginning of the coming out of this horrible crisis they are in. I apologise to them that on these two rounds we have not helped them very much.”
It soon became clear that the subject of a change of leadership in Syria had not even been broached, leading the British and French governments to blame Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for the impasse.
A gaping rift remains between both sides, with each claiming the other refused to agree to adopt a proposed draft agenda.
Louay Safi, delegate for the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) said the government delegation was only interested in discussions on “ending violence and combatting terrorism.” He said the regime was not happy to discuss the section in the draft agenda about the Transitional Governing Body, which would not include al-Assad.
However, government delegate Bashar al-Jaafari refuted claims that his side was unwilling to accept the draft.
“We spent six days talking about the necessity to adopt a draft agenda… We immediately accepted the draft agenda while the other side did not.”
He went on to call the opposition delegation, made up largely of National Coalition umbrella group, “amateurs”, who feed the public and their international backers stories which are “not accurate”, “not true” and “misleading”.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government has now reportedly added opposition delegates to a terrorist list and seized their assets under a 2012 anti-terrorism law; a decision likely to further antagonise allies of the SNC.
President Bashar al-Assad’s representatives say the decision was made two months prior to the start of the peace talks, with Al-Jaafari saying “whoever refuses to fight terrorism is part of terrorism”.
However, the affected parties say they only learnt of it this week, when a leaked copy of the Justice Ministry decision was published on an opposition website.
Progress towards a political solution
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague blamed the Syrian government directly for the breakdown in peace talks. However, he said he did want the process to continue.
“This cannot be the end of the road”, he said. “With the war in Syria causing more death and destruction every day, we owe it to the people of Syria to do all we can to make progress towards a political solution.”
A ceasefire in the besieged city of Homs has enabled more than 1,300 people to be evacuated, while UN agencies and partner organisations have delivered aid to those remaining.
But, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stressed that the Homs evacuation has not improved access to other civil war zones in Syria, where up to three million people are reportedly in need of humanitarian aid.
Figures from the British-based, pro-opposition Observatory monitoring group suggest around 6,000 Syrians have been killed since the start of the latest peace talks on January 22. This is the fastest death rate recorded since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011.
- 1Paris attacker Abdelhamid Abaaoud ‘returned to scene of shootings’
- 2Russia says second SU-24 crew member safe and back at base in Syria
- 3Calls for calm as tensions rise over Turkish downing of Russian jet
- 4Fate of pilots of downed Russian jet unclear
- 5Turkey downing of Russian plane “a stab in the back” says President Vladimir Putin
- 1Russia confirms Turks have shot down one of its planes on Syrian border
- 2Fate of pilots of downed Russian jet unclear
- 3Turkey downing of Russian plane “a stab in the back” says President Vladimir Putin
- 4Five questions on Russia’s air strikes in Syria
- 5French police hunt new suspect over Paris attacks
- 1At least 22 people killed as Mali hotel siege ends
- 2Two suspected terrorists dead, seven arrests in police raid on apartment in Saint-Denis, Paris
- 3Fate of pilots of downed Russian jet unclear
- 4Russia confirms Turks have shot down one of its planes on Syrian border
- 5ISIL publishes video to “celebrate” Paris attacks as France continues airstrikes
- 1Coordinated terror attacks leave dozens dead in Paris
- 2euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 31000-year-old Bible found in Turkey
- 4Bomb and several shootings in central Paris – reports of fatalities and injuries
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6world Weather | euronews: world ten day weather forecast
- 7European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 8Police hunting Paris attacks mastermind battle with suspects in heart of Paris
- 9latest sci-tech news : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 10Humans consume more than planet can produce on ‘Earth Overshoot Day’
- 11International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 12Special Reports : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 13Business news and finance news | euronews: international economic and finance news
- 14Middle East - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 15New temporary spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood appointed
- 16Fukushima: Tepco admits contaminated water leak into the Pacific
- 17‘Anonymous’ hackers’ group declares ‘war’ on ISIL
- 18Extras : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 19‘Maxed-out:’ Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s frank warning over Syria crisis
- 20Iraq: deadly car bombs kill more than 60 in Baghdad
Latest world news
Bus bomber kills presidential guards in Tunisian capital
Russia says second SU-24 crew member safe and back at base in Syria
Pope Francis heads to Africa with a message of religious tolerance
Canada reduces refugee intake to 10,000 by the year’s end
Chicago protests mark release of fatal shooting video
Wires > News
- 12:33 CET France detects first bird flu outbreak in years
- 12:31 CET China says must learn from Paris attacks
- 12:14 CET Singapore slashes publication bans, but not for Jehovah’s Witnesses
- 12:13 CET Turkey’s Erdogan says does not want escalation after Russian jet…
- 12:08 CET Three arrest warrants issued in widening royal insult probe
- 12:03 CET U.N. accuses Houthis of blocking supply routes to Yemen’s Taiz city
- 11:47 CET Defiant Merkel vows to stand by refugee policy despite security…
- 11:38 CET Pope heads to Africa hoping to bridge Christian-Muslim faultlines