Syrian Government, Opposition Meet in Geneva

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-01_f1c6b72d48.jpgiStockphoto/Thinkstock (GENEVA) -- The Syrian government and the leaders of opposition forces met on Saturday to begin discussions that could help to end the civil war that has been ongoing since 2011. The BBC News reports that the initial meeting lasted about 30 minutes and was mediated by the United Nations' Lakhdar Brahimi. The two sides reportedly spoke through the mediator, and not directly to each other.

The talks are aimed at making small concessions to lower tensions in Syria, not to negotiate a full peace deal. Brahimi said on Saturday that "we haven't achieved much, but we are continuing."

The two sides are expected to meet again late Saturday morning eastern time. The Syrian conflict has claimed over 115,000 lives since 2011.

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