UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi attends a press briefing on peace talks at the United Nations headquarters on January 30, 2014 in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES
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U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi tried to put a positive spin Friday on the first face-to-face meetings in three years between Syria's warring sides, suggesting they reconvene Feb. 10 for a fresh attempt at bridging the chasm between them.Weeklong negotiations have been strained over issues such as the opposition's demand for -- and the government's resistance to -- a transfer of power in Syria.The two sides continue to blame each other for the violence in Syria and remain deeply divided over how to end the war and if Syria's future government should include President Bashar Assad.Syrian activists say around 1,900 people were killed in clashes at home during the week of talks alone.Assad's family, from Syria's Alawite minority, has ruled the country since 1970 while rebellions by members of Syria's Sunni majority were crushed.
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