To say the Syrian peace talks ended with little progress would be an understatement. The only real breakthrough out of the talks is that another round is planned — and even that's up in the air.
The United Nations mediator called the week-long conference in Geneva, Switzerland a “modest beginning.” After all, the fact that the Syrian government and the opposition met in the same room was considered a success to begin with.
The two sides had very different objectives going in — the Assad regime wanted to discuss terrorism, while the opposition and its Western backers wanted to talk about a transition of power. (Via Channel 4)
Oklahoma University's Joshua Landis told PBS the Syrian government likely expected the U.S. and its allies to try to compromise over the issue of a political transition.
"The U.S. stuck to its guns, and said that there has to be regime change in Syria. As soon as the Assad regime heard this and heard the opening speech, it began to take away offers." (Via PBS)
As a result, the short-term goals international negotiators had hoped to reach were not met. That includes allowing aid into cities under siege, releasing prisoners and reaching localized cease fires. Not to mention, there was no real talk over how to end the now three-year long war. (Via U.S. State Department)
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department is accusing the Syrian government of not sticking to the timetable it agreed to for destroying its chemical weapons. It's reportedly turned over less than five percent of its most dangerous chemicals. (Via Euronews)
The next round of talks is set to begin February 10, but so far the Syrian regime has refused to commit to a timetable. (Via CNN)
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, during the nine-day long conference, more than 1,800 people were killed in Syria.