Syria's state TV is reporting that President Bashar Assad has made a rare public appearance, visiting people displaced by the war in a Damascus suburb.More >>
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A marathon Senate investigation into allegations of CIA torture during the Bush-era war on terror is veering toward partisan political territory and possibly the federal courts after unusually pointed accusations...More >>
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Three suicide bombers detonated their explosives belts in a hotel in a predominantly Kurdish town in northeastern Syria on Tuesday, killing three people, the state-run news agency said.More >>
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The United States, with its abundant supplies of natural gas, would seem to have an easy answer to Europe's fears that a strong response to Russia's rapid takeover of Ukraine's Crimea region could...More >>
The United States, with its abundant supplies of natural gas, would seem to have an easy answer to Europe's fears that a strong response to Russia's rapid takeover of Ukraine's Crimea region could prompt...More >>
The brown toilet cubicle door through which Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend has been set up in the courtroom at the athlete's murder trial, suggesting prosecutors will attempt to recreate his...More >>
Oscar Pistorius' defense lawyer on Wednesday tried to cast doubt on the competence of a South African police forensic expert who testified at the athlete's murder trial, where a toilet door and a cricket bat from...More >>
Thousands of people have gathered in Istanbul for the funeral of a Turkish teenager who died nine months after slipping into a coma from being hit by a police tear-gas canister during anti-government protests.More >>
Tens of thousands of people on Wednesday joined a funeral procession in Istanbul for a Turkish teenager who died nine months after slipping into a coma from being hit by a police tear-gas canister during anti-government...More >>
GENEVA (CNN) - The hard-fought 'Geneva Two' conference on Syria is underway.
Dozens of nations are in Switzerland, looking for a way to end the Syrian civil war.
On day-one the conference has already cleared a major hurdle, which was simply bringing the sides together.
Surrounded by the spectacular beauty of Swiss mountains, Syria's protagonists came to do battle by diplomacy.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem was combative in an early exchange with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
The majority of his 34-minute monologue was vitriolic, criticizing Syria's neighbors, and the West, especially U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"No one in the world, Mr. Kerry, nobody in the world has the right to get rid of the legitimacy of a president, or a constitution or a law or anything in Syria except the Syrian people themselves," he said.
The comments were a direct slap in the face for the U.S. and international diplomacy.
More than 30 nations gathered to help establish a transitional Syrian government.
Deep divisions were quickly clear.
"Bashar Assad will not be part of that transition government," Kerry said. "There is no way, no way possible in the imagination that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people, could regain the legitimacy to govern."
Syria's opposition also on the offensive, holding up pictures of victims of alleged regime abuse.
Equally clear to them, Assad can have no role in a transition government.
"We accept all the decision of Geneva 1 - to transfer of all the authorities of the Army for a transitional government," said Ahmad Al Jarba, a Syrian opposition leader.
With both main parties poles apart, expectations on the shores of Lake Geneva are being played down. It's the beginning of a process that will require patience and perseverance.
"I hereby declare open, the Geneva Conference on Syria," Ban Ki-Moon said.
With the prospect for peace so far down the road, the U.N. secretary general is focusing on aid for the millions displaced, and the hundreds of thousands he says are besieged by the Syrian government.
"There are hundreds of thousands of people who have been cut off from any assistance for months," he said. "We've heard disturbing reports of malnutrition and desperate health conditions. Food and medicine must be allowed in. The sick and wounded must be allowed out."
Talks are due to resume Friday in Geneva.
But as much as the setting here is inspirational, the mood is as chill as the snow fields capping the surrounding peaks.