Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New round of Syria talks off to acrimonious start

GENEVA — The second round of Syrian peace talks began Monday with the warring sides exchanging public accusations and presenting widely divergent views on how to proceed toward a settlement to end the conflict.

The U.N. envoy chairing the talks, Lakhdar Brahimi, did not hold his regular news conference at the end of the day. Instead he put out a statement saying the talks centered chiefly on questions "relating to the cessation of violence and terrorism and the establishment of a transitional governing body."

Diplomats tracking the talks predicted that the current round would fail, as did the initial round at the end of January.

Despite the acrimony, the two sides did agree to extend a "humanitarian pause" in the besieged city of Homs for three more days, allowing the evacuation of civilians wanting to leave the old city district and the delivery of food shipments.

Valerie Amos, the United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, announced the extension, which came after a difficult weekend in Homs — where a relief team was struck by mortar rounds and sniper fire.

Still, a senior U.N. official said more than 800 of the estimated 2,500 civilians thought trapped in the old city district had managed to leave since Friday and food deliveries had been made.

Amos denounced the weekend attacks on the U.N. aid convoys, which she said killed 11 people. But she carefully avoided blaming either side.

New round of Syria talks off to acrimonious start 02/10/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete Beach beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulf-front hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests relax on the beach near the Don Cesar at St. Pete Beach. Guests at gulf-front hotels in St. Pete Beach can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas after the change was passed unanimously by the City Commission Tuesday night. Residents and other beachgoers who are not registered guests of the hotels continue to be barred from imbibing anywhere on the city's beaches.
  2. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.

  3. More than 13,000 fact-checks later, PolitiFact celebrates 10-year mark


    ST. PETERSBURG — Bill Adair still remembers the moment when he realized his idea to fact-check politicians could turn into something big.

    (from left to right) Aaron Sharockman, Politifact executive director introduces a panel featuring Angie Holan, Politifact editor; PolitiFact founder Bill Adair and Tampa Bay Times Editor and Vice President Neil Brown at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The event celebrated 10 years of PolitiFact and its growth since 2007. The panel discussed the history of the organization and how it goes about fact-checking. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]
  4. Trump, McConnell feud threatens GOP agenda


    The relationship between President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

    Sen. Mitch McConnell has fumed over Trump’s criticism.
  5. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]