- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2014

Scarcely had talks begun and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has already threatened to bail, state media in Geneva reported on Friday.

Mr. Muallem told U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi he was about to quit, unless “serious” discussions start by Saturday at the latest, BBC reported. So far, officials with the regime and opposing rebel forces at the talks have refused to meet in a face-to-face setting, and will only communicate through Mr. Brahimi.

The talks that have gone forth via a third-party messaging system have only covered minor points dealing with localized truces, and not overall peace deals, BBC said. Both sides are pointing fingers at each other for the stalled talks.

Friday was supposed to herald a new step forward in the talks, with a historic meeting of both sides. That effort came to a grinding halt, as each side dug in and refused to come together at the table, BBC said.

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