Geneva (AFP) – The UN sought painstakingly Friday to get a new round of Syrian peace talks off the ground, but there were few signs of progress as dozens more civilian deaths underlined the scale of the challenge.
The UN’s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura, who brought rival regime and opposition delegates symbolically together late Thursday, held separate meetings with them Friday to hammer out the format for the meetings.
But there appeared to be no discussion of substance, either with the UN and certainly not between the rival parties themselves.
“We discussed issues relating to the format of the talks exclusively,” said Syrian regime delegation chief Bashar al-Jaafari after meeting de Mistura.
“We are going to talk about procedure,” a member of the opposition delegation, Assad Hana, told AFP before an afternoon meeting with the UN envoy.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was…