News / Middle East

Syrian Talks Adjourn With Discord

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, left, gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Feb 11, 2014.
U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, left, gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Feb 11, 2014.
VOA News
U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says peace talks between delegates from the Syrian government and opposition to President Bashar al-Assad are laborious and not making much progress

Tuesday's meeting in Geneva was the second day of a new round of talks aimed at getting the parties to negotiate an end to nearly three years of fighting and set up a transitional government.

During a press conference, Brahimi said they are doing their best to make the process "take off," saying cooperation is needed from both sides, as well as, outside parties.

"The beginning of this week is as laborious as it was in the first week. We are not making much progress," he said.

Brahimi says he plans to meet Friday with U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov.

The Reuters news agency reported that Syria's government delegation said no agenda had been agreed to and said the government blamed the opposition for refusing  to discuss the issue of  "terrorism."

"Another lost day because the representatives of the coalition insisted that terrorism in Syria does not exist and did not want to discuss it," Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said after the meeting, according to Reuters.

Syrian opposition spokesman Monzer Akbik said during Monday's meeting with Brahimi that his side laid out their vision of a transitional government in Syria.

At the start of Tuesday's talks, delegates said a minute of silence was observed for people killed in the three year conflict after a first round of talks last month failed to make significant progress.

"I hope that the minute of silence will signal an improvement in the atmosphere this time,'' opposition delegate Ahmed Jakal told Reuters.

Meanwhile, U.N. refugee agency officials say several hundred men evacuated from the battered city of Homs were detained for interrogation by government forces.

Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the UNHCR, says 338 male evacuees aged between 15 and 55 had been taken in for questioning.  She says a total of 42 were released, but the remainder were still being held by authorities.

“We are trying to make sure that all civilians who want to get out of Homs can get out and we are doing our very best under the most complicated, dangerous circumstances imaginable to ensure that as many lives can be saved as possible,” she said. 

More than 800 people have been evacuated from the rebel-held city since Thursday.

Homs was the birthplace of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

More than 130,000 people have been killed and nine million forced from their homes since the conflict began in 2011.


VOA's Lisa Schlein contributed to this report from Geneva. Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

  • Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai (left), who was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education, talks to Syrian refugee Mazoon Rakan, 16, about Mazoon's experience in the camp during her visit to the Zaatri refugee camp, in Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, Feb. 18, 2014. 
  • A Kurdish fighter from the Popular Protection Units (YPG) carries his son as he walks along a street, Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood, Aleppo, Feb. 18, 2014. 
  • A man walks near a crater as smoke rises from a burning truck after what activists said were explosive barrels thrown by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, al-Inzarat district, Aleppo, Feb. 18, 2014. 
  • Civil defense members and civilians extinguish the fire from a burning truck after what activists said were explosive barrels thrown by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, al-Inzarat district, Aleppo, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • A civil defense worker puts out a fire after what activists said were explosive barrels thrown by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, al-Inzarat district, Aleppo, Feb. 18, 2014. 
  • Children run across a street to avoid snipers in Deir al-Zor, eastern Syria Feb. 16, 2014.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter runs for cover from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood of Aleppo, Feb. 16, 2014. 
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter rests with his weapon in the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood of Aleppo, Feb. 16, 2014. 
  • A boy holds his baby sister, who survived what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Rescuers walk on the rubble of collapsed buildings after what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, Feb. 14, 2014.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jimmy from: china
February 11, 2014 10:12 AM
the core point of war is to grap the right for certine politician. however, the common people suffers a lot in the process. that's life. always determined by someone else.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid