Syrian sides face off under United Nations flag, asked to work together

Though the Geneva talks are seen as the most serious diplomatic effort in months, disputes over the agenda and longstanding disagreements between the opposition and the government on the future of Syria have cast doubts on whether any progress will be achieved.

De Mistura said he hoped to officially welcome the parties Thursday in the presence of representatives of key world and regional powers, "to show that the global community is interested, supportive, united as much as we can hope in order to tell the Syrian sides it's time to talk and fight on the table, through the table, but not in the field". "No, I am not expecting a breakthrough", he told journalists at the United Nations headquarters on Wednesday.

Mistura, who said a day earlier that he did not expect an "immediate breakthrough" from the meetings, said the biggest challenge in brokering peace between Assad and his opponents was lack of trust.

"Today, the test is that we expect that the (opposition) platforms (in Geneva) condemn this terrorist attack", chief negotiator Bashar Ja'afari told reporters after a 2-1/2 hour-long meeting with the United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura.

Speaking to Reuters, Basma Kodmani, a negotiator from the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said groups backing the talks had abided by the ceasefire, but questioned the government's commitment and whether Russian Federation, a key Assad ally, was ready to pressure it to curb the violence.

Ja'afari ruled out leaving the talks, saying he would meet de Mistura again on Tuesday, but he implied that some of the opponents that had sat face-to-face with at Thursday's opening ceremony were "sponsors of terrorism".

This time, de Mistura has voiced hope that he will manage to bring the two sides together for direct talks.

The ground has shifted since the last UN-sponsored talks broke up in April 2016 and the rebels are in a significantly weaker position. But Michael Ratney, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Syria and the Levant, was in Geneva for the talks, officials said. Pro-government forces are just 3 kilometers (2 miles) south of al-Bab, though clashes with the opposition forces in the area have so far been limited.

Presidents Day 2017: Top 10 Quotes to Celebrate Our Nation
The real challenge is sorting through the varying punctuation of "presidents"-it's enough to make any copy editor dizzy". Financial markets are closed in the U.S.as the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will observe the President's holiday.

A bitter dispute over Assad's fate also continues to divide the camps.

"Iran is main obstacle to any kind of political deal", he said.

In conclusion, he said that the so-called "Free Syrian Army", armed groups supported by Turkey which are involved in the operation against the ISIS militants in northern Syria, in fact, do not differ from the terrorists.

"UN Special Envoy handed us a document to study for the next meeting", he said.

Nasr Hariri, in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Geneva says: "We have a lot of points that we share with this new administration".

Talks to end Syria's six-year conflict restart in Geneva on Thursday.

We want Syria to be neutral, a home for all.

"We hope to end it right now here".

Related News:

  • Mobile deploys LTE-U technology

    Mobile deploys LTE-U technology

    If not for the controversy over potential interference, T-Mobile likely would have deployed LTE-U much earlier. This spring, cellphone carriers such as T-Mobile plan to start supporting a new kind of mobile data.

    Thailand wins for worst traffic in world

    Traffic in other global cities can be "more severe" for shorter periods, "but people in L.A. tend to sit in it longer", he says. The capital is the second most congested city in Europe after Moscow, and is the seventh most gridlocked city on the planet.

    Le Pen aide charged in European Parliament jobs probe

    While Macron was is London, Le Pen was in Lebanon for a two-day visit, also in an operation to demonstrate her worldwide clout. Her two main rivals, Emmanuel Macron and François Fillon, have 20 percent and 17 percent of the popular vote, respectively.
  • United Kingdom economy accelerates but still loses fastest in G7 crown

    The BoE this month signalled that it is in no hurry to raise interest rates with so much Brexit-related uncertainty ahead. The ONS also pointed out that there was a drop in business investment, which fell by one percent in the last quarter.
    Champions League: Aguero strikes in comeback win for City

    Champions League: Aguero strikes in comeback win for City

    His teams at Barcelona and Bayern Munich never just sat back and defended. "People think it is easy for Manchester City". The full-backs play like wingers and the wingers play like attacking midfielders.

    Xbox Live Games With Gold March 2017 Titles Revealed

    Microsoft has today revealed March's Games with Gold titles for Xbox One and Xbox 360 and I'll be honest, I'm a little confused. Evolve: Ultimate Edition includes the base game The Monster Expansion Pack, Hunting Season 1 DLC and Hunting Season 2 DLC.
  • Moyes explains what Sunderland have to do to beat Everton

    Moyes explains what Sunderland have to do to beat Everton

    Everton are seventh in the Premier League, eight points adrift of fifth-placed Liverpool ahead of Saturday's visit of cellar-dwelling Sunderland .
    On Murdered Teen's Cellphone, a Voice Says, 'Down the Hill'

    On Murdered Teen's Cellphone, a Voice Says, 'Down the Hill'

    Officials are asking anyone who may have taken pictures in the area or was just on the trail to contact authorities immediately. Indiana State Police gave an update Wednesday morning on the investigation into the murders of two girls in Delphi, Indiana.

    Burger King and Tim Hortons owner to buy Popeyes for $1.8 bln

    An important factor to consider when evaluating a stock's current and future value are the 52 week price high and low levels. The next year's growth is calculated to be 16.1 percent. (NASDAQ:PLKI)'s stock to Hold with no specific Price Target.
  • Rugby stars James O'Connor and Ali Williams arrested on drugs charges

    Rugby stars James O'Connor and Ali Williams arrested on drugs charges

    Racing 92 have confirmed second row Ali Williams has been suspended after being arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine. According to reports Williams tried to discard three packets of white powder which were discovered by investigators.
    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Said Old Transgender Guidelines Were 'Overreach'

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Said Old Transgender Guidelines Were 'Overreach'

    Many pointed to DeVos' affluent background as a billionaire heiress from one of Michigan's most powerful families. We are blind to our prejudices until we finally see them, and then we wonder how we failed to see them all along.
    After Charleston, Dylann Roof headed for 2nd AME church, documents say

    After Charleston, Dylann Roof headed for 2nd AME church, documents say

    Defense attorneys argued there was no evidence to suggest Roof was going to continue his attack at another church. After his arrest, Roof told officers that he had researched other black churches.


Most liked

Ryan Palmer, Wesley Bryan tied atop Honda Classic leaderboard
If he continues to excel on the greens over the next two days, he will be celebrating his first career win on the PGA Tour. A year ago at the Honda Classic , Fowler shot a pair of 66s for 8-under and held the halfway-point lead through 36 holes.

Hawks send Tiago Splitter to 76ers for Ersan Ilyasova
His contract is up after the season and is owed just about the same amount of money as Ilyasova. He started the year with the Oklahoma City Thunder before getting traded to the 76ers.

What they're saying: Colangelo, Sixers mostly panned for Noel trade
Taking on another player with sound physical tools and a busted jumper is not, by any means, the ideal return for Noel. In all, seven deals were completed prior to the deadline, with some teams really helping their chances this season.

Reality Check: Has a governing party won a by-election since 1878?
And she claimed hard-left "entryism" into Labour under Mr Corbyn's leadership mean Tory victory in the polls is even more crucial. But in practice, the two, both widely respected, left because they could not see a future for their party under Mr Corbyn.

Drug OD deaths almost tripled since 1999, CDC says
While all age groups saw increases in death, the 55-to-64 group saw the biggest increase, with a five-fold jump since 1999. The suicide rate is 13.4 deaths per 100,000 and the rate of deaths from auto accidents is 11.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Chris Paul cleared to return to play
Los Angeles' Chris Paul could make his Ali-like return to the hardwood tonight as the Clippers travel to Golden State (-12.5). Kevin Durant notched 25 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists, while Klay Thompson accounted for 18 points and four helpers.

Deron Williams Expected to Be Waived by Mavericks to Join Cavaliers
During the 16-17 season, Williams is averaging 13.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 29.3 minutes per game. Ferrell averaged 15.3 points per game and 4.6 assists, leading the Mavs to five wins in seven games as a starter.

Off-duty LAPD officer fires gun during physical struggle with teenage boy
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said in a statement that Anaheim was committed to a full and impartial investigation of the incident. Apparently, teens and children walk across the officer's lawn as part of a commonly used route to local schools.

Airbus seeks new talks with European nations over A400M costs
But bottlenecks in the A350 supply chain had improved and its output targets remained on track. It foresees a rise in deliveries in 2017 to more than 700 planes, up from 688 a year ago .

Penalty Rate Cuts Offer Big Break To CE And Appliance Retailers
Except for the fast food area, the Sunday penalty rates have not been brought to the same level as Saturday penalty rates. Penalty rates "frustrate the job aspirations of the unemployed and those who are only available for work on Sunday".

Kerala cops moral police couple, get recorded on Facebook Live
In the FB video, Vishnu is then seen demanding to know what law he broke by sitting with his arm around the shoulders of a woman. The constables, she said, asked whether they were married or not. "We were asked whether we are going to marry or not".

Why Trump Wants to Revoke Obama's Guidance on Transgender Bathrooms
Spicer announced that there would be "further guidance" coming soon on the issue from the administration. Earlier this month, just one day after Jeff Sessions was sworn as Trump's attorney general, the U.S.

Lakers Trade Lou Williams To Rockets For Corey Brewer, First-Round Pick
Williams is at the peak of his career with a point average of 18.6 per game and 3-point field goal percentage of.385. Chandler would give a defensive boost, while Gallinari is a better all-around offensive option than Lou Williams .

Jay Z: From Marcy to VC
His slow crawl into the VC world can be traced back in 2011, when Roc Nation invested in Stance , a "premium sock company". He's also invested in JetSmarter and Uber, according to Crunchbase , which collects VC investment data.

Predicting MLB ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES
According to Reuters , Facebook are interested in broadcasting games in a bid to gain a foothold in the expanding market. Univision Communications Inc. partnered with Facebook before in order to live stream Mexican soccer games in English.