Few signs of progress at first full day of Syria peace talks in Geneva

By George Baghdadi CBS News/

Syria’s main opposition High Negotiations Committee leader Nasr al-Hariri speaks next to members of the committee during a press conference after a meeting with United Nations’ Syria envoy, on February 24, 2017 in Geneva.
PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images

GENEVA — Representatives from the Syrian government and opposition forces held separate meetings with U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura on Friday in Geneva in the first full day of fresh talks that appear headed for failure.

U.N. mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura attends a news conference after a meeting at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, January 12, 2017.

The talks have been marked by disputes from the start, surfacing first among the ranks of opposition representatives themselves. The group nearly missed the opening ceremony of the talks on Thursday after having threatened to boycott the proceedings over disagreements on the participants and format of the session.

The High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the main opposition group, insisted on being the only rebel delegation in the talks, following demands by two other groups based in Moscow and Cairo demanding a seat at the table. This latest round of talks, known as “Geneva IV,” appears unlikely to resolve the war in Syria that has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people, created the world’s worst refugee crisis and fueled the rise of the Islamic State.

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Sources: News Now/ Reuters/CBS/AFP

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About Cholo Brooks 13159 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.