Syrian govt, opposition face to face for 1st time at UN

The first face to face meeting between Syria's government and the opposition hoping to overthrow Bashar Assad has started.

After tense days spent avoiding each other and meeting separately with a U.N. mediator, Assad's handpicked delegation and representatives of the Syrian National Coalition were gathering in the same room Saturday in hopes of ultimately finding a path out of the civil war.

The two sides were distant going into the meeting, with the Damascus delegation denying it had accepted the premise of a transitional leadership, and the opposition saying it would accept nothing less.

"We'll try our best to make it as successful as possible," said Anas al-Abdeh, a member of the Syrian National Coalition's negotiating team.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad said Saturday would focus on "modest ideas."