U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.
U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.
News   /   Syrian Crisis

Syrian government and opposition delegations resumed face-to-face talks  today expected to tackle humanitarian issues .

A U.N spokeswoman said the two sides met for a second day at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva in the presence of international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, who is trying to broker a peace deal to end almost three years of conflict.

Brahimi has said the two days of weekend talks will focus on what he has called confidence building measures, aimed at establishing a positive atmosphere before more difficult political talks on Monday.

He described Saturday's sessions - the first face-to-face meetings between Syria's sides- as a good beginning. However, he said little progress had been made over a deal to allow humanitarian aid into the center of Homs city.

The opposition said it will call on Sunday for the release of detainees. It has given no details but a Western diplomat said he expected the request to focus on women and children.

Government delegates arriving for the talks on Sunday said they were ready to discuss all issues presented by Brahimi but that it was a mistake to focus on individual or local issues.

Information Minister "Omran Zoubi" told reporters that "they proposed Homs. We say all Syrian cities are equal and as important".

Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to President al-Assad and member of the government delegation, echoed his reservations.

Shaaban said that "the other side came here to discuss she said a small problem here or there. We came to discuss the future of Syria", adding "we did not come here to bring relief to a region here or a region there. We came here to restore safety and security to our country".

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