Syrian government anger over a U.S. decision to resume aid to the opposition prompted the U.N. mediator to cut short Tuesday’s talks, but he said no one was to blame for the impasse and that the negotiations would continue.
A deal to allow humanitarian aid into Homs remained stalled, with the Syrian delegation demanding assurances the U.S. aid will not go to “armed and terrorist groups” in the besieged city.
U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said he was relieved that the government and opposition said they will remain in the daily talks through Friday, as planned.
“Nobody’s walking out. Nobody’s running away,” he told reporters. “We have not actually made a breakthrough, but we are still at it, and this is enough as far as I’m concerned.”
Tuesday’s talks were the fifth day of negotiations regarding the civil war, focusing on opposition calls for the formation of a transition government in Syria and help for Homs.
But there has been little progress toward resolving a key issue of whether President Bashar Assad should step aside and transfer power to a transitional government.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, whose country has been a key Syrian ally, said Moscow wants to avoid “another obsession with regime change because of somebody’s personal animosity, personal hatred to a particular individual.”
Brahimi said he decided to cut short Tuesday’s talks “without any request or pressure from anyone.”
He confirmed that the Syrian government delegation had talked at length about its opposition to the resumption of U.S. aid.
American officials said Monday the U.S. has restarted deliveries of nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition, more than a month after al-Qaida-linked terrorists seized warehouses and prompted a sudden cutoff of Western supplies to the rebels.