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February 10, 2014 AT 9:32 AM
A second round of Syria peace talks got off to a shaky start on Monday with the international mediator meeting the two sides separately after violations of a local ceasefire and an Islamist offensive set back his efforts. Ahead of the talks, mediator Lakhdar Brahimi told delegates to commit first to discussing both ending the fighting and setting up a transitional government. The government side said combating "terrorism" - its catchall term for the revolt - should be agreed first. The second round was intended to follow quickly after no substantive progress was made last month at the first round of talks in nearly three years of civil war. Brahimi had tried to break down mutual distrust by focusing on agreeing a truce for a single city, Homs, but even that was only achieved after the first round was over, and aid workers were fired upon as they evacuated civilians on Saturday.