World

Syrian talks resume amid falling expectations

  • FILE - This is a Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.  file photo of U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland,  The U.N. mediator trying to broker peace after three years of civil war in Syria says "we haven't achieved much" after two brief face-to-face encounters between the government and the opposition.   Brahimi has seen faces like these before, barely able to remain in the same room, much less speak to each other. Lebanese, Afghans, Iraqis, now Syrians. Even, two decades ago, Algerians like himself. For days now, the veteran U.N. mediator has presided over peace talks intended to lead the way out of Syria's civil war. He brought President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition face to face for the first time on Saturday, while still ensuring that they don't have to enter by the same door or address each other directly. He is 80. He is patient.(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)

    FILE - This is a Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. file photo of U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, The U.N. mediator trying to broker peace after three years of civil war in Syria says "we haven't achieved much" after two brief face-to-face encounters between the government and the opposition. Brahimi has seen faces like these before, barely able to remain in the same room, much less speak to each other. Lebanese, Afghans, Iraqis, now Syrians. Even, two decades ago, Algerians like himself. For days now, the veteran U.N. mediator has presided over peace talks intended to lead the way out of Syria's civil war. He brought President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition face to face for the first time on Saturday, while still ensuring that they don't have to enter by the same door or address each other directly. He is 80. He is patient.(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Journalists reach out to ask questions to Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad, right, during a short briefing to journalists after a meeting with the Syrian government at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Tense negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition broke off earlier than planned Tuesday amid demands that President Bashar Assad put forward another proposal for the future of the country. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

    Journalists reach out to ask questions to Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad, right, during a short briefing to journalists after a meeting with the Syrian government at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Tense negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition broke off earlier than planned Tuesday amid demands that President Bashar Assad put forward another proposal for the future of the country. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)  (The Associated Press)

  • Louay Safi spokesperson for the Syrian National Coalition, Syria's main political opposition group, gestures as he gives a short briefing to journalists after a meeting with the Syrian government at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Tense negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition broke off earlier than planned Tuesday amid demands that President Bashar Assad put forward another proposal for the future of the country. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

    Louay Safi spokesperson for the Syrian National Coalition, Syria's main political opposition group, gestures as he gives a short briefing to journalists after a meeting with the Syrian government at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Tense negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition broke off earlier than planned Tuesday amid demands that President Bashar Assad put forward another proposal for the future of the country. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)  (The Associated Press)

Syrian negotiators have resumed talks over the country's future a day after cutting short their discussions over a U.S. decision to resume aid to the opposition.

The government and opposition delegates met with the U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi on Wednesday, but chances for a breakthrough before everyone goes home Friday appear almost nil as both sides continue to blame each other for an impasse.

A deal to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged city of Homs remain stalled, with the Syrian delegation demanding assurances the U.S. aid will not go to "armed and terrorist groups" in the central city.

The negotiations aimed at ending Syria's three-year-old conflict began Friday in Geneva and Brahimi has said both sides were willing to continue despite lack of progress.