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Syrian Peace Talks End in Impasse

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people Saturday as the latest round of peace talks in Geneva between Syria's government and the opposition ended without agreement.

Brahimi's meeting with the two warring sides Saturday was a last-ditch effort to rescue the deadlocked peace talks.

Brahimi said the Syrian people were expecting the talks to result in a way out of their "horrible crises." Instead, he said, "these two rounds of talks have not done very much." It was not immediately clear when a third round of talks will talk place.

Chris Gunness, a spokesman for U.N. relief efforts in Syria, says the U.N. was again unable to distribute food and other aid items to the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus on Saturday. He said food distribution there has been stopped for more than a week, which is potentially life-threatening for the besieged civilians.



U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos says getting aid to desperate civilians in Syria should not be a matter of controversy or politics.

The U.N. says the three-year civil war has killed more than 136,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.

The opposition in Geneva wants to discuss setting up a transitional government that would likely exclude President Bashar al-Assad. The government says the focus of the Geneva talks must be fighting terrorism - the term Damascus uses when discussing rebels.

Opposition spokesman Louay Safi blamed what he calls the government's "belligerence.'' Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad said the opposition has an "unrealistic agenda.''

U.S. President Barack Obama said late Friday a "diplomatic solution" must be found for Syria. The president said while he does not think a solution will be reached in the near future, steps will be taken to "apply more pressure to the Assad regime."

The president made the comments while meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah in California.

Also Friday, the U.N. Security Council continued discussions on a draft resolution that, among other things, expresses "grave alarm" over civilians trapped by Syrian forces.

Russia is threatening a veto, calling it too one-sided against the Syrian government.

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