Syria Talks Resume In Geneva After Ceasefire Deal
Syria's government and opposition will meet on Monday for a seventh round of UN-sponsored peace talks.
According to feelers, there is little expectation of a breakthrough to end the six-year conflict.
The talks in Geneva open after a ceasefire took effect in three provinces in southern Syria on Sunday, with a monitoring group reporting that the region was mostly quiet despite scattered violations.
The ceasefire was brokered by the United States, Russia and Jordan, and is the latest agreement reached outside the Geneva framework.
In principle, the new round of Geneva negotiations will focus on four so-called "baskets": a new constitution, governance, elections and combating "terrorism".
Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reported from Geneva that one of the key areas the opposition was focused on is the transitional period, what Syrian governance will look like after the war. But the two sides are deadlocked on matters such as what will happen to the Syrian president.
"The spectre that is hanging over all of that is the fate of Bashar al-Assad. I think it is fair to say that this is one area where the two sides are still diametrically opposed - whether Assad should be allowed to stay or whether he should go," she said.
As he arrived for the talks on Monday, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told reporters: "We will work very hard" and that time constraints had slowed progress.
The last talks ended in May with little progress towards ending a war that has killed more than 320,000 people since it began in March 2011.