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Syria mediator apologizes for lack of progress

The UN's special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has apologized to the Syrian people for the lack of progress after two rounds of peace talks in Geneva.

Lakhdar Brahimi says 'not very much' to report, but 3rd round of talks planned

UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has talked of the enormous challenges getting in the way of progress at the Geneva talks, telling reporters on Friday that "failure is always staring at us in the face." (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Saturday the first two rounds of Syrian peace talks had not made much progress but said the two sides had agreed on an agenda for a third round of meetings.

He said the last session of the second round of talks was "as laborious as all the meetings we have had, but we agreed on an agenda for the next round when it does take place," referring to points to be discussed including violence and terrorism, the transitional governing body, national institutions and national reconciliation.

"I apologize that these two rounds have not come out with very much," he said, adding the Syrian government had refused his suggestion that at the next round of talks, the sides deal with combating "terrorism" on day one and the transitional governing body on day two.

No date has been set for the two sides to meet again.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States is considering steps to apply more pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

“We don’t expect to solve this any time in the short term so there are going to be some immediate steps that we have to take to help the humanitarian situation there,” Obama said on Saturday.

Obama made his comments in California during a visit from Jordan's King Abudullah II.

With files from The Associated Press, Reuters