Senior Correspondent, Syria
Khaled's Feed
Jan 29, 2014

Syria peace talks take tentative step forward

GENEVA, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Talks aimed at ending the war in
Syria took a first tentative step forward on Wednesday as both
sides agreed to use the same document as the basis of
discussions, although they disagreed about how the negotiations
should proceed.

Both sides said they agreed to use the “Geneva communique”,
a document agreed at a previous international conference in
Geneva in June 2012, and which sets out the stages needed for an
end to the fighting and a political transition.

Jan 28, 2014

Insight: At Syrian peace table, embittered enemies face off

GENEVA (Reuters) – When Syria’s political foes met across a negotiating table for the first time in nearly three years of conflict, the top priority was to keep them from walking out.

Diplomats had talked up the importance of getting the two sides in the same room in Geneva, but at one point things were so bad that it looked like that room might be the departure lounge at the city’s airport.

Jan 27, 2014

Syrian government under pressure to allow aid convoy

GENEVA (Reuters) – The Syrian government came under pressure on Monday to allow aid trucks into the besieged rebel city of Homs as negotiators sought to keep peace talks on track by focussing on humanitarian gestures.

The government said women and children could leave Homs and government and opposition delegates also spoke of releasing prisoners.

Jan 26, 2014

Syria talks bring offer of exit from siege of Homs

GENEVA (Reuters) – The Syrian government offered to let women and children leave the besieged city of Homs on Sunday as negotiators from the warring sides discussed humanitarian gestures on a second day of face-to-face talks in Geneva.

Government and opposition delegates also spoke of releasing prisoners and enabling access for aid convoys during what the U.N. mediator acknowledged was a slow process but one which he hoped would lead to broaching the central issue that divides them after three years of civil war – namely the future of Syria’s political structures and of President Bashar al-Assad.

Jan 25, 2014

Syrian civil war foes meet in mediator’s presence – U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria’s civil war foes held their first meeting in the same room in the presence of international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi on Saturday after a day’s delay and fierce recriminations.

The talks in Geneva aimed to launch political negotiations on ending Syria’s nearly three-year conflict, which has killed 130,000 people, displaced over third of Syria’s 22 million population and destabilised the wider region.

Jan 25, 2014

Syria sides to meet but peace talks may not take off

GENEVA (Reuters) – After a day’s delay and repeated bitter recriminations, the warring sides in Syria will hold their first joint meeting on Saturday to launch talks aimed at ending almost three years of conflict.

In a measure of the task ahead, diplomatic sources said the first two days of talks in Geneva would involve discussing a deal to allow aid into a single city, Homs, where people are starving.

Jan 24, 2014

Talks stumble as Syria opposition refuses to meet government

GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria’s first peace talks faltered before they began on Friday, with opponents of President Bashar al-Assad refusing to meet his delegation unless it first signs up to a protocol calling for a transitional government.

Plans were ditched at the last minute for the two sides to sit down to talk face to face for the first time. Instead, they would each meet separately with a U.N. mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

Jan 22, 2014

Syria peace conference exposes deep rifts over Assad

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – Syria’s government and opposition, meeting for the first time, angrily spelled out their mutual hostility on Wednesday at a U.N. peace conference where world powers also offered sharply divergent views on forcing out Bashar al-Assad.

Opposition leader Ahmed Jarba accused the president of Nazi-style war crimes and demanded the Syrian government delegation at the one-day meeting in Montreux, Switzerland sign up to an international plan for handing over power.

Jan 22, 2014

Syrian warring sides to meet under world’s gaze

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – Syria’s government and its enemies come face to face on Wednesday for the first time as world powers try to set aside their own differences and push for an end to three years of civil war that is unsettling the entire Middle East.

A day of formal speeches under U.N. auspices at a hotel on Lake Geneva has raised no great expectations, particularly among Islamist rebels on Syria’s frontlines who have branded Western-backed opposition leaders as traitors for even agreeing to be in the same room as President Bashar al-Assad’s delegates.

Jan 21, 2014

Syria talks in disarray before they begin

GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria peace talks were in disarray on Tuesday before they began, buffeted by a botched U.N. invitation to Iran, an explosion in Beirut and new evidence that appears to show Bashar al-Assad’s government has tortured and killed thousands.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s unexpected, last-minute decision on Sunday to invite President Assad’s main foreign backer Iran – only to withdraw the invitation a day later – proved a diplomatic fiasco, undermining talks that are already given little chance of success.