11 February 2014

Syria’s government and opposition open new round in peace negotiations

A second round of Syria peace talks started on 10 February 2014. For the first time, representatives of the armed opposition groups were also present. Beforehand, the mediator Lakhdar Brahimi told the parties to commit to discussing an end to the fighting as well as setting up a transitional government. There is little evidence of political will and trust, as both sides maintain their firm positions. The mediator will meet the two parties separately over the next few days, in order to improve the atmosphere. He plans to meet United States and Russian officials on 14 February, in what analysts consider an attempt to overcome the strong disagreement in the international community over the conflict.

In the meantime, humanitarian agencies are evacuating civilians from the old city of Homs, made possible by a cease-fire, which has been extended until 12 February. An attempt initiated by France to draw up a draft Security Council Resolution in order to increase access to humanitarian aid was hampered by the absence of Russia and China in the negotiations.

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Source: The New York Times | As Second Round of Syrian Talks Begins, U.N.’s Mediator Steps Cautiously
Source: Reuters | Second round of Syria talks makes faltering start

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