Syria Factions Trade Blame as Moscow Talks Break Down

Dispute Over Prisoner Releases Ends Talks

The latest round of Syrian peace talks held in Moscow, the first such round that the Obama Administration has expressed any support for, ended today without a joint statement, and with both sides blaming the other for the lack of consensus.

The Syrian government revealed that considerable progress was initially made on the talks, and a joint statement was actually written, but not released when the two sides got into a dispute over prisoner releases, a sticking point for the rebels.

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov met with the officials of both sides and admonished them to make progress, saying there would be no one left to build a “united and sovereign Syria” if they keep the war going.

Vitaly Naumkin, the Russian mediator for the talks, said the disagreements weren’t as big as they seemed, and that with another week a deal would probably have been reached, adding “they say at the table together, they didn’t go into a fistfight.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of