Last UN attempt to break Geneva deadlock

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Manju Shukla
Date  15/02/2014
The UN special envoy for Syria is making a last-ditch bid to break the stalemate between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva.

Lakhdar Brahimi is holding final discussions with both sides in Geneva.

Negotiations have reached an impasse as the two delegations traded accusations, with Syrian officials calling the rebels` demands "unrealistic".

The conflict in Syria has claimed more than 100,000 lives since March 2011.

Some 9.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes. `Unblock the situation`

The final session began after 11:00 (10:00 GMT).The BBC`s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the face-to-face talks seem to have gone badly.

Sources said Mr Brahimi was unable to set a date for a third round of talks, though he expects there still to be one.

Earlier he said US and Russian officials had assured him they would try to "unblock the situation".
    Two weeks ago they were at least airing opposing views across a table, and discussing concrete steps like possible ceasefires and prisoner exchanges. Now they can`t even agree on an agenda ”

The best outcome the UN can hope for is a commitment to come back to Geneva for further negotiations, our correspondent adds.

Many people inside Syria may view such a commitment as meaningless after two rounds of talks achieved little, our correspondent says.

So far, the only agreement in the latest negotiations was to allow civilians to leave and aid to enter the besieged city of Homs.

Otherwise the talks, which started six days ago, have failed to narrow the gap between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition.

Syria insists on the need to fight what it calls "terrorists", while the rebel delegation stresses the need for a transitional administration to run the country until elections.

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