UN: US, Russia to try to 'unblock' Syria stalemate

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United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, left, and UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, right, arrive for a trilateral meeting with Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov during the second round of negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Valentin Flauraud,Pool)


GENEVA (AP) — The mediator for the U.N.-brokered Syrian peace talks says Russia and the United States have promised to try break the deadlock.

U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said after meeting with senior U.S. and Russian officials on Thursday that they have pledged to try "to unblock the situation" because "we are not making much progress."

The second Syrian peace conference in Geneva this year has offered a rare opportunity for conversation but yielded little more than acrimony.

Brahimi met jointly with U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov.

He told reporters "failure is always staring us in the face" but vowed that all efforts will be pursued.

More than 130,000 people have been killed in Syria's three-year civil war and millions have fled.