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.
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 23D, 360° virtual reality is ready to launch – on an adult film
- 3Bombing in Syria not World War III, says Russia’s EU ambassador
- 4Migrant crisis: Hungary poised to shut unofficial border crossings with Croatia
- 5Syria: We believe that Russia has the wrong strategy, says US
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 9What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 10Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 11Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 12Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 13Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 14[Live] All the Rugby World Cup news in one place
- 15Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 16International news | euronews, latest international news
- 17Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 18Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 19Migrant tripped up in Hungary gets Spanish football job
- 20Israel agents ‘incite’ stone-throwing in West Bank
Latest world news
Islamic Sate fighters seize villages close to Aleppo – reports
Rebuilding a pluralist Syria key to encouraging returns
Nobel Peace Prize for Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet
Palestinians shot dead in Gaza as Middle East violence escalates
Russia denies US claims cruise missiles malfunctioned over Iran
Wires > News
- 19:29 CET Israel, Iran trade barbs at U.N. disarmament panel meeting
- 19:23 CET Paris train hero was breaking up fight when stabbed in California…
- 19:17 CET Islamic State closes in on city of Aleppo in Syrian fighting
- 19:13 CET Italy sends Eritreans to Sweden to seek asylum under EU plan
- 19:08 CET Six killed in Gaza as Israeli-Palestinian violence widens
- 18:48 CET Refugee arrivals surge in Greece with bad weather ahead – IOM
- 18:12 CET Poachers kill four rangers, army officer in Congo park
- 18:11 CET In 26 countries, girls more likely to be married off than go to…