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UN mediator doesn't expect 'substantive' result at Syria talks round

Published on Jan 30, 2014 2:18 AM

GENEVA (AFP) - UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday he did not expect a week of peace talks in Geneva between Syria's warring sides to produce "anything substantive".

"To be blunt, I do not expect that we will achieve anything substantive," Brahimi told reporters after a fifth day of talks in the Swiss city, which are set to conclude Friday.

He stressed though that he had not expected to make much progress during the first round of talks, which mark the first time the two sides have sat down face-to-face in a bid to end the civil war that has claimed 130,000 lives and forced millions from their homes.

"I am very happy that we're still talking. That the ice is breaking, slowly, but it is breaking," Brahimi said. "These people have not sat together for three years. They do not expect that there'll be a magic wand," he added.

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