The second round of Geneva peace talks between the Syrian government and its rebel opposition ended Saturday with little tangible progress, with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad refusing to discuss the possibility of a transitional government to bring violence to an end.
Negotiators for the Syrian National Coalition and for the government led by President Bashar al-Assad have agreed on a tentative agenda for a third round of talks, but the Syrian regime has refused to enter into talks about a transitional governing body on the first day of the next round, reports CNN.
That “raises the suspicion of the opposition that in fact the government doesn’t want to discuss the (transitional governing body) at all,” said U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi. Such an intransigent stance was “not good for the process,” or for Syria, he added.
Both rounds of peace talks have been largely fruitless, with the opposition insisting on forming a transitional government—which Secretary of State John Kerry has said would not include Assad—while the government wants to discuss how to tackle terrorism.
Over 100,000 people have died so far in the bloody three-year conflict. A ceasefire agreed upon at the first round of talks to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Homs fell apart last week, as gunfire between government forces and rebels injured aid workers.