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Tense session breaks up over Syria transition

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 27, 2014 at 11:18 a.m.

GENEVA — The first meeting meant to discuss the contentious issue of a Syrian transitional government broke up less than an hour after it began Monday after a tense session that one delegate described as "a dialogue of the deaf."

The Syrian government has said it will not discuss replacing President Bashar Assad as the leader of a country his family has ruled since 1970.

The opposition insists he must step down in favor of a transitional governing body with full executive powers that would lead the country until elections are held.

The U.N. envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, managed to get both sides to sit in the same room over the weekend to discuss humanitarian aid to besieged areas of the besieged central city of Homs and a possible prisoner exchange. But the opposition said little progress has been achieved.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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