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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Rivalry between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has fuelled wrangling within the Syrian opposition that threatens to prevent a united rebel delegation attending international peace talks next week.
Sources in the Syrian National Coalition and diplomats from foreign powers backing the rebels said it remains unclear whether those divisions can be overcome by Friday, when the 120-member Coalition is expected to vote on whether to take part in the conference in Switzerland known as Geneva-2.
AMMAN (Reuters) – The al Qaeda-linked Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant executed dozens of rival Islamists over the last two days as the group recaptured most territory it had lost in the northeastern Syrian province of Raqqa, activists said on Sunday.
One of the activists, who spoke from the province on condition of anonymity, said up to 100 fighters from the Nusra Front, another al Qaeda affiliate, and the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, captured by ISIL in the town of Tel Abyad on the border with Turkey, the nearby area of Qantari and the provincial capital city of Raqqa, were shot dead.