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Syria Peace Talks Deadlocked Over Political Transition

United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says Syria peace talks will continue in Geneva Tuesday, but the contentious issue of creating a transitional government will be put aside in order to focus on topics of possible agreement.

Brahimi said the Syrian parties were still discussing how women and children can leave the Old City of Homs, but that there had been no decision on allowing access for an aid convoy into the besieged city.

The two delegations were supposed to begin discussing delicate political issues, such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's future.

But as the latest meeting got underway, the government side submitted a paper focusing on the need to combat terrorism and halt funding and shipments of weapons to rebels fighting to topple Mr. Assad.

Opposition delegates rejected the Syrian government's "declaration of principles," which they said was outside the framework of the Geneva talks and did not mention a transfer of power in Damascus.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said government negotiators were at the talks to discuss terrorism, not a transfer of power. Sources at the talks said Brahimi then broke up the meeting.

The opposition maintains Mr. Assad must leave power and a transitional government be formed based on an agreement reached during a first peace conference in Geneva in 2012. But the Syrian government says Mr. Assad's role is not up for debate at this conference.

Also Monday, U.S. officials said the United States restarted deliveries of nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition, more than a month after al-Qaida-linked militants seized warehouses and prompted a sudden cutoff of Western supplies to the rebels.



Syria's conflict began in March 2011 as peaceful protests against the government of President Bashar al-Assad before spiraling into a civil war that the U.N. says has killed well over 100,000 people and forced nearly 9 million from their homes.

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