UK & World News
UN's Brahimi Apologises Over Syria Stalemate
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has apologised to the Syrian people as the latest round of peace negotiations ended in stalemate.
Speaking on the final day of negotiations, Mr Brahimi said he was "very, very sorry" the second set of talks were unable to end the deadlock.
"I apologise that these two rounds have not come out with very much," he said.
Syrian government and opposition representatives were joined by mediators in Geneva for six days of negotiations aimed at ending almost three years of fighting.
Mr Brahimi said an agenda for a third round of talks had been agreed, but no date had yet been set.
"I think it is better that every side goes back and reflects on their responsibility, (and on whether) they want this process to continue or not," he told reporters.
The latest round of talks were plagued by disagreement, primarily over the future of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
The opposition demanded that negotiations focus on creating a transitional government which does not include the president.
But the government said Mr Assad's role was not negotiable.
It said it was only open to discussing means of combating "terrorism", which it blames on opposition forces and their foreign backers.
Mr Brahimi said future talks would focus on ending violence and terrorism. The agenda will then cover the creation of a transitional governing body.
Foreign Secretary William Hague blamed the Assad regime for the breakdown of the talks.
"With the war in Syria causing more death and destruction every day, we owe it to the people of Syria to do all we can to make progress towards a political solution," he said.
According to new figures released by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Saturday, 140,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011. Millions have fled their homes.
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