U.N. pushing forward with Syria peace talks despite lack of progress
An man bleeding from his head carries a baby following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces on February 17, 2014 in the Hanano district of the northern Syrian city Aleppo. Will the peace talks really be able to end the suffering of the Syrian people? (AFP)
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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains convinced the Geneva talks are the best way to end the crisis in Syria.
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement issued on Tuesday that Ban has called for the continuation of the talks between representatives from the Syria government and oppositions.
"The secretary general remains convinced that Geneva II is the way to go, and he is looking at the parties to think long and hard and to come back as soon as possible so that this process can continue," Nesirky said.
The second round of talks between the delegations representing the Syrian government and the foreign-backed opposition in the Swiss city of Geneva deadlocked on February 15 with both sides sticking to their positions.
"This is a process, not a single event taking place in one or two meetings... this is going to take a long time," the statement added.
The Syrian delegation said fighting terrorism should be the top priority while the opposition insisted that the formation of a transitional government and resignation of President Bashar al-Assad must come first.
Damascus strongly rejects the demand, saying only the Syrian people can decide the issue.
The latest talks came 10 days after the first round of negotiations ended without any positive results.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.
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