Accusations Fly as Syrian Peace Talks Deadlock

By Barnard, Anne | International New York Times, February 15, 2014 | Go to article overview

Accusations Fly as Syrian Peace Talks Deadlock


Barnard, Anne, International New York Times


The second round of peace talks in Geneva deadlocked in acrimony and frustration on Friday, as the government delegation appeared to rule out any compromise with the opposition.

The second round of Syria peace talks deadlocked in acrimony and frustration on Friday, as the government delegation appeared to rule out any compromise with the opposition and accused the top United Nations relief official of taking sides.

Members of the opposition delegation called on the United States and Russia, the two major sponsors of the talks, to find ways to move ahead, and said there was a small possibility of a final meeting between the antagonists on Saturday. But the prevailing mood was grim.

The deadlock in Geneva came as the United Nations human rights office warned of new deprivations and civilian uprooting inside Syria and antigovernment activists in the country reported new mayhem, including a car bombing in the south that killed dozens and a mass execution of 21 people carried out by Al Qaeda-linked jihadists in the north.

There had been some hope that the second round of talks in Geneva, which began on Monday, would make some progress on an agenda aimed at ending the nearly three-year-old conflict or at least find a way to allow unfettered humanitarian aid to reach hundreds of thousands of Syrians in combat zones.

The opposition delegation offered what appeared to be a significant compromise, or at least a softened tone, on Wednesday, by asserting that the talks focus on creating a transitional government. But the language, for the first time, did not specifically demand that President Bashar al-Assad be excluded from such a government. …

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