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UN mediator doesn't expect 'substantive' result at Syria talks round

UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday he did not expect a week of peace talks in Geneva between Syria's warring sides to produce "anything substantive". "To be blunt, I do not expect that we will achieve anything substantive," Brahimi told reporters after a fifth day of talks in the Swiss city, which are set to conclude Friday.

Brahimi says no substantive progress at Syria talks

GENEVA (Reuters) - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday that he does not expect to achieve anything substantive in the first round of Syria talks ending on Friday but hoped for a more productive second round starting about a week later. He voiced hope that Russia and the United States would exert greater influence over the two sides to bridge "quite large" gaps, adding that the United Nations and Syria's government were still negotiating access for aid to the rebel-held Old City of Homs.

Deadlocked Syria talks resume in Geneva

Talks between Syria's warring sides entered their fifth day in Geneva on Wednesday with no signs of progress on a transfer of power or on providing desperately needed humanitarian relief. Delegations from President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the opposition National Coalition sat down from around 11:00 am (1000 GMT), the UN said. The two sides have been unable to even begin discussing political questions, let alone the core issue of creating a transitional governing body.

'Nobody walking out' of Syria peace talks: UN envoy

Neither of the warring sides in the Syria peace talks under way in Geneva was prepared to give up Tuesday despite two days of deadlock, the UN mediator in the negotiations said. Lakhdar Brahimi vowed to push ahead with the talks, and said he remained hopeful that an agreement to help people in besieged areas of Homs would translate into action on the ground. "Nobody is walking out, nobody is running away," Brahimi told reporters after cutting short a fourth day of talks aimed at ending the bloody civil war that has claimed 130,000 lives.

Humanitarian assistance yet to reach trapped Syrian city

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi indicated Monday that delivery of humanitarian assistance to, and evacuation of children and women from, the besieged Syrian city of Homs, has not yet started. Brahimi, special envoy of the United Nations and Arab League, expressed hope on Sunday that such assistance operations would begin on Monday. Speaking to reporters on Monday in Geneva, Brahimi said, "There are no miracles here," and added that efforts will be made to continue talks between the Syrian government and rebels on Tuesday.

Syrian government says women, children can leave Homs district: mediator

GENEVA (Reuters) - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Sunday that the Syrian government delegation at peace talks in Geneva had told him that authorities would allow women and children to leave the besieged old district of Homs city straight away. "What we have been told by the government side is that women and children in the besieged area of the old city are welcome to leave immediately," Brahimi told a news conference after talks with government and opposition delegations.

UN 'happy' with tone of Syria talks, sides showing 'mutual respect'

UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Sunday he was pleased with the general tone of peace talks between Syria's regime and the opposition in Geneva. "I am happy, because in general there is mutual respect and they are aware of the fact that this attempt is important and we must continue. I hope that this mood will continue," Brahimi told reporters after meeting with both delegations to discuss humanitarian issues. jwf-mm/mfp

Syria peace talks to focus on prisoners in 2nd day

The talks are set to resume at 11:00 a.m. with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi acting as a go-between, after the two warring sides sat together in the same room for the first time on Saturday.

AFPTV-Advisory 1000 GMT

We will file the following videos: -- TOP WORLD NEWS -- + SYRIA TALKS Coming up: GENEVA: Talks involving Syria's warring sides continue in Geneva, with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi struggling to bring them together. RAW. TBA Filed over past 12 hours: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: The Syrian opposition say they are 'cautiously optimistic' about peace talks with the Syrian regime. VID590929_EN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Syria's regime arrive for peace talks with the Syrian opposition. RAW. VID590927_EN

Syrian government and opposition meet in presence of mediator: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) - Syrian government and opposition delegations held their first meeting in the presence of international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi on Saturday, a United Nations spokeswoman said. "The two Syrian delegations are now meeting together with the Joint Special Representative at the United Nations office at Geneva," the spokeswoman said.
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