File - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem addresses the media during a press conference in Berlin. (AP Photo/Miguel Villagran)
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The Syrian regime and its opponents will head to a second round of talks next week in what diplomats and negotiators say will reflect a greater degree of agreement on major sticking points than has been publicly reflected.Despite the very public acrimony shown at the last round of the so-called Geneva II talks, which wound up last Friday, and the failure to achieve any breakthrough on even a limited agreement to deliver humanitarian aid to part of the city of Homs, those close to the negotiations have expressed optimism that the second round, scheduled for Monday, may be more substantive. The last round saw a marked failure in confidence-building measures, such as how to establish humanitarian corridors to send aid to government besieged areas of Old Homs. The agreement collapsed when the regime delegation suggested that women and children could leave if they registered with the authorities – the opposition slammed the condition as an attempt to target rebels and evidence of the regime's rejection of compromising on humanitarian issues. Western diplomats say a new U.N. resolution on humanitarian issues is being discussed in New York to force the Russians to pressure the regime.
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