After a relatively unsuccessful first round of talks, Syria’s rival sides are meeting again Monday in hopes of ending their bloody civil war.
Their negotiations come as aid agencies try to rescue the thousands trapped in the embattled city of Homs. A rare three-day ceasefire to allow aid workers into the city was the only real success of the last round of peace talks. (Via ITN)
Homs was one of the first cities to rise up against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad nearly three years ago. Then forces loyal to the regime blockaded the city, leading to severe food shortages beginning about a year ago. (Via Human Rights Watch, Channel 4)
Over the weekend, aid workers braved gunfire and mortar attacks to evacuate 600 people from the city and deliver much needed food and medical supplies to those choosing to stay. (Via YouTube / yousuf916)
Monday’s talks are expected to build upon the initial round of negotiations held at the end of January in Geneva, Switzerland — talks the United Nations mediator Lakhdar Brahimi called a “modest beginning.”
It was the first time members of the Assad regime and the opposition met face-to-face since the war began.
To say those talks didn't go smoothly would be an understatement. The two sides spent the week trading insults and accusing each other of war crimes. (Via U.S. State Department)
This time around, major differences still remain over issues like setting up transitional government and getting humanitarian aid to cities under siege. (Via Aleppo Media Centre)
The warring sides are expected to first hold separate meetings with Brahimi before meeting each other at the negotiating table.