TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Syria talks produce very little

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 7:24 p.m.
 

GENEVA — The top diplomats from the United States and Russia raised hopes for reviving broader talks to end the Syrian civil war Friday, even as they showed scant progress in hurried efforts to tackle one horrific part — the chemical weapons fired on civilians. U.N. inspectors prepared to turn in their own poison gas report this weekend.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he expected the inspectors to release “an overwhelming report” that chemical weapons were used on the outskirts of Damascus on Aug. 21. The chief inspector, Ake Sellstrom, would not comment on its conclusions.

The Syrian government and rebels blame each other for the attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. The Obama administration, which says 1,429 people were killed, has said it has evidence that clearly indicates the Syrian government was behind the attack. But Russia, a key ally of Syria, has said it is not convinced by the U.S. evidence.

The U.N. inspectors have a mandate to determine whether chemical weapons were used, not to establish who was responsible. But two U.N. diplomats said the report could point to the perpetrators, saying that the inspectors collected many samples from the attack and also interviewed doctors and witnesses.

Leading the central talks in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made clear that any prospects for restarting broad peace negotiations depend on first settling the standoff over chemical weapons. But they didn't disclose any clear movement since their meetings began Thursday.

Kerry and Lavrov met with U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi about the potential for a new Geneva peace conference. Kerry said he, Lavrov and Brahimi agreed to meet around Sept. 28 on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. U.S., Arab allies hit IS strongholds in Syria, Iraq
  2. U.S.: Ebola cases could hit 1.4 million by mid-January
  3. Israel military shoots down Syrian aircraft
  4. Muti backs out of Rome theater commitment
  5. Hong Kong college students boycott classes in fight for democracy
  6. Jordan-based bank liable in suicide bombings that killed, injured Americans
  7. Ebola infections likely to shoot up in Sierra Leone, Liberia
  8. At least 40 Iraqi soldiers killed in Islamic State strike; dozens captured
  9. Ukraine to pull artillery in east as truce between government and rebels holds up
  10. Egyptian President al-Sisi feels vindicated in crackdown as Islamic extremists rise
  11. ‘Holocaust T-shirt’ for kids discontinued in Spain
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.