Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carry Syrian flags and portraits of al-Assad in front of the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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A first round of peace talks on Syria wraps up Friday with both sides in entrenched positions and the U.N. mediator expressing frustration that he had not even produced agreement for an aid convoy to rescue trapped civilians in a besieged city.After a week of talks at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, the opposing sides in Syria's civil war were still stuck on the question of how to proceed. Friday's closing session was expected to be largely ceremonial, with government and opposition delegates expected to meet again around Feb. 10 . The first meeting between President Bashar al-Assad's government and foes in three years of war began last week with an international conference at which both sides set out firm positions from which they never yielded.Carnage has continued, with nearly a third of Syria's 22 million people driven from their homes and sectarian violence spreading to neighbouring Lebanon and Iraq.
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