Last updated: 9 February, 2014

Syria government delegation arrives in Geneva for peace talks

Syria’s government delegation arrived in Geneva on Sunday for a fresh round of peace talks with opposition representatives.

Members of the opposition delegation also arrived in the Swiss city, a source close to the National Coalition told AFP.

A source close to the government delegation told AFP that representatives of the regime entered the Hotel de la Paix in Geneva from a back door and made no statements to reporters.

The government delegation is headed by Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, as was the case for the first round of the so-called Geneva 2 process 10 days ago.

That round ended without any concrete agreement on Syria’s raging war, which in nearly three years has killed more than 136,000 people.

Muallem is due to meet UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi at 7:00 pm (1800 GMT) in Geneva, the source close to the regime delegation said.

The source close to the opposition team said some members of the delegation had arrived in Geneva, but it was not yet clear if Coalition chief Ahmad Jarba was among them.

The two warring sides appear far from reaching any compromise.

While the regime insists the talks focus on fighting “terrorism” — its term for the revolt — the opposition demands the priority in Geneva be agreement on a transition that excludes President Bashar al-Assad.