New Round of Peace Talks to Begin on Syria

World | February 10, 2014, Monday // 11:33
Bulgari: New Round of Peace Talks to Begin on Syria Parts of Homs Old City have been under army siege since June 2012 and many areas lie in ruins. Photo by BBC

The second round of peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition representatives is due to begin in Geneva on Monday.

The first round of talks ended last month with no firm agreements and with both sides trading insults.

However, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said then that some "common ground" had been reached.

The talks come after hundreds of people were evacuated from the besieged city of Homs under a three-day truce.

The evacuations were completed despite mortar fire and shooting, which both sides blamed on each other and that activists say killed several people and wounded several others.

On Monday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France and other countries would present a resolution at the UN calling for greater access for humanitarian aid.

"We are asking for stronger action as far as the humanitarian side is concerned, that medicines and food supplies are handed out in cities," he told French radio.

"It is absolutely scandalous that there have been discussions for quite a while and that people are still being starved every day, and so along with a number of other countries, we will present a resolution at the UN along those lines."

The civil conflict has claimed well over 100,000 lives since it began in 2011.

The violence has also driven 9.5 million people from their homes, creating a major humanitarian crisis within Syria and for its neighbours.

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Tags: Syria, Syrian, peace talks, Geneva, Homs, evacuation
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