The political crisis in Ukraine has taken a stunning turn with news that embattled President Viktor Yanukovych may be near an agreement with leaders of the opposition. The move comes as anti-government protests spread to more parts of the country. And demonstrators in Kiev, the capital, seemed poised to launch violent clashes with police.
After months in the making, Syrian peace talks began today in Geneva. Leaders from the Syrian government and the opposition met face-to-face today in the first ever direct negotiations between the two sides. The goal: to end the violence that's killed more than 100,000 people.
NPR's Deborah Amos is in Geneva, and she joins us to talk about the day's events. Hi, Deb.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers, in for Arun Rath.
Today marks the first time the two sides in the Syrian conflict have sat together for talks. Today also marks three years since a revolution ousted a dictator in Egypt. Since then, Egyptians have experienced the first free elections in decades, the toppling of an Islamist government and a resurgent military-led government.
U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has acknowledged that the first day of face-to-face talks between representatives of Syria's government and the opposition coalition failed to yield anything in the way of results.
"We haven't achieved much," Brahimi said following the day's discussions. "But, we are continuing."
"The situation is very difficult and very, very complicated, and we are moving not in steps, but half-steps," he said.
The Associated Press described the talks, which are set to resume on Sunday, as "painstakingly choreographed."