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Syria talks are a beginning, says U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi

Syria talks are a beginning, says U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi
The State Department
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Friday, January 31, 2014 - 8:21am

As multi-day talks in Switzerland involving Syria's government and the opposition come to a close, the United Nations envoy to Syria said they were at least a start, and the two sides had some common ground.

"This is a modest beginning, but it is a beginning on which we can build," envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said Friday.

The peace talks are due to resume in Geneva on February 10, Brahimi said.

The opposition has agreed to the date but the Syrian government delegation said it must first consult with Damascus, he said.

Brahimi said that progress would seem far too slow for all those people suffering day-to-day in Syria -- but that the difficulties of the situation meant it would unfortunately take time to reach any resolution.

"The gaps between the two sides remain wide, there's no use pretending otherwise," he said.

"Nevertheless, during our discussions I observed a little bit of common ground -- perhaps more than the two sides themselves realize or recognize."

CNN's Jason Hanna contributed to this report. 

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