World

Actions

U.N. Negotiator Apologizes To Syrians After Failed Talks

Aside from a temporary ceasefire in the city of Homs, the Syrian government and the opposition have failed to agree on much of anything.
Posted at 3:00 PM, Feb 15, 2014

The second round of Syrian peace talks ended Saturday, and this time all sides involved left having failed to agree on even an agenda, much less a way to end the war.  

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: "I apologize to them that in these two rounds we haven't helped them very much." (Via United Nations

That was the U.N.'s Lakhdar Brahimi — apologizing for being unable to break the deadlock. The talks, which he's mediating, began last month. It was the first time the two sides met in the same room since Syria's war began three years ago. (Via Channel 4

Aside from agreeing to a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid into city of Homs, little progress has been made so far. (Via Los Angeles Times

That's largely because each side wants different things. For the opposition, the most important issue is getting rid of President Bashar al-Assad. But that's a non-starter for the regime.   

BASHAR JA’AFARI: “They wanted to dictate their own interpretation of the agenda, and this is where the problems started between the two sides.” (Via BBC

LOUAY SAFI: "We would like to stop the fighting… would like to achieve the transition to democracy. To freedom, to dignity. But the other side is trying to stall, trying to delay, trying to divert us." (Via Al Jazeera

According to the BBC, since the first round of peace talks began in late January, at least 5,000 Syrians are believed to have died in the violence. 

While this latest meeting was underway, opposition activists accused Assad's government of repeated aerial attacks on the city of Aleppo. (Via Aleppo Media Centre

On Valentine's Day, activists there posted this video message:   

"Amid starvation, a message from Syria on the day of love from Syria with love." (Via YouTube / masa rat