Ban Ki-moon to push ahead with Syria peace talks

Determined U.N. chief to go ahead with negotiations despite rivals reaching stalemate

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is determined to push ahead with peace talks between the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition delegation despite the lack of progress during two rounds of negotiations that ended Saturday.

“This is the start of an enormously complicated process after three years of conflict,” Martin Nesirky U.N. spokesman told reporters Tuesday.

“It should not really surprise anyone ... that the parties have found it difficult to find a common voice,” Nesirky added.

Ban and U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi are determined to continue the negotiations and are in contact with the U.S. and Russia on “how best to push forward,” he said.

Ban hopes the parties will “think long and hard” and come back to Geneva as soon as possible to continue the peace process, Nesirky said.

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi on Saturday apologized to the people of Syria after the first two rounds of the peace talks in Geneva have not achieved any progress.

"I apologize that these two rounds have not come out with very much," Brahimi said.

“I think it is better that every side goes back and reflects on their responsibility, (and on whether) they want this process to continue or not,” he told reporters in Geneva.

Opposition spokesman Louay Safi said new peace talks would be useless if the regime continues to refuse to discuss a political transition.

“A third round without talking about transition would be a waste of time,” Safi told reporters in Geneva, after the negotiations ended.

The talks began in Geneva with aims to find a solution for nearly three years of political violence that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people and displaced millions since March 2011.

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