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Syrian opposition warns won't return for talks if no progress

The Syrian opposition delegation in Geneva for a second round of peace talks warned Monday it would not return for a third round if no progress is made. "If there is no progress at all, I think it would be a waste of time to think about a third round," opposition spokesman Louay Safi told reporters late Monday. He said the delegation had raised the issue with UN Arab League mediator Lahkdar Brahimi Monday morning, as the second round of talks began.

UN says Homs operation extended until Wednesday night

The United Nations said an operation to allow civilians to leave besieged districts of the Syrian city of Homs will be extended until Wednesday night. The announcement on Monday was welcomed by UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, and follows a successful but difficult three-day evacuation mission in Homs, where gunfire and attacks have frustrated progress. "I hope this will allow us to evacuate yet more civilians and deliver much needed additional supplies," said Amos in a statement which reported that more than 800 people have been helped out of Homs since late Friday.

UN says Homs operation extended until Wednesday night

The United Nations said an operation to allow civilians to leave besieged districts of the Syrian city of Homs will be extended until Wednesday night. The announcement on Monday was welcomed by UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, and follows a successful but difficult three-day evacuation mission in Homs, where gunfire and attacks have frustrated progress. "I hope this will allow us to evacuate yet more civilians and deliver much needed additional supplies," said Amos in a statement which reported that more than 800 people have been helped out of Homs since late Friday.

UN says Homs operation extended until Wednesday night

The United Nations said an operation to allow civilians to leave besieged districts of the Syrian city of Homs will be extended until Wednesday night. The announcement on Monday was welcomed by UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, and follows a successful but difficult three-day evacuation mission in Homs, where gunfire and attacks have frustrated progress. "I hope this will allow us to evacuate yet more civilians and deliver much needed additional supplies," said Amos in a statement which reported that more than 800 people have been helped out of Homs since late Friday.

UN to press Russia on Syria humanitarian resolution

UN diplomats resumed the task of trying to persuade Russia to back a new humanitarian resolution on Syria on Monday, after earlier efforts met with a firm refusal. A draft text of the non-binding resolution, seen by AFP, was drafted by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg and it "demands that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, immediately end the sieges of the Old City of Homs," as well as in Aleppo, Damascus and other cities. Such steps are needed "to allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance," it said.

Warring sides trade blame in fresh Syria talks

A new round of Syrian peace talks got off to a rocky start Monday, with the warring sides blaming each other for escalating violence and difficulties getting aid to the besieged city of Homs. The UN and Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi began the latest session in Geneva by shuttling between the government and opposition teams, which continued to lob blame back and forth as they did throughout the first round of talks in late January. Brahimi seemed to have come prepared for the logjam.

Syria's warring parties kick off new round of talks

Syria's warring sides launched a new round of peace talks Monday, as an agreement from the first round last month was being implemented with aid convoys evacuating the besieged city of Homs. The UN and Arab League mediator, veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, began the latest session in Geneva by shuttling between the government and opposition teams. It was not clear when or if the two sides would sit down for the sort of mediated face-to-face negotiations they held for a week in January.

Hundreds evacuated from Syria's Homs on eve of talks

Aid teams evacuated hundreds of exhausted civilians from besieged Homs city Sunday, as Syria's regime and rebels again accused each other of violating a truce ahead of new peace talks. The evacuation of 420 of the 3,000 trapped people, who had been reduced to living off little more than olives and herbs after more than 600 days under siege, came as representatives from both sides converged on Geneva. Damascus' delegation and members of the opposition began arriving for a second round of the so-called Geneva II talks scheduled to begin on Monday.

Hundreds evacuated from Syria's Homs on eve of talks

Aid teams evacuated hundreds of exhausted civilians from besieged Homs city Sunday, as Syria's regime and rebels again accused each other of violating a truce ahead of new peace talks. The evacuation of around 600 of the 3,000 trapped people came as representatives from both sides converged on Geneva. Sunday's evacuation was the second in three days after a UN-brokered truce for besieged districts of Syria's third city began on Friday.

Hundreds of civilians evacuated from Syria's Homs

Aid teams evacuated hundreds of exhausted civilians from besieged districts of the city of Homs on Sunday, as Syria's regime and rebels again accused each other of violating a truce. The evacuation of some of 3,000 trapped people who had little more than olives and herbs to eat for more than 600 days came ahead of a new round of peace talks. The Damascus delegation and members of the opposition began arriving in Switzerland for a new round of the so-called Geneva II peace talks scheduled to begin on Monday.
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