World News

Syrian Peace Talks Reach 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 opposition ended without any agreements.

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.

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

Syria's main opposition group said Friday peace talks with the government have hit a "dead end" after days of talks without any breakthroughs.

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.''

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

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.

In Syria, opposition activists said a car bomb blew up outside a mosque in the rebel-held village of Yadouda Friday, killing at least 29 people.

Syrian government television also reported the blast, but gave no details.

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.

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 136,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.

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