Pressure is rising to stop a ferocious, three-week-old bombardment of eastern Aleppo by Syrian regime and Russian forces.
Talks on Syria, convened by US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Swiss city of Lausanne, ended on Saturday evening after more than four hours without any joint ministerial statement from the nine countries.
Kerry was seeking a new path to peace after failing to secure a ceasefire in direct talks with Russia amid mounting international outrage over the Russian and Syrian regime bombardment of opposition-held eastern Aleppo.
Syria talks in Lausanne ended with all parties agreeing to disagree— Ali Hashem (@alihashem_tv) October 15, 2016
But a former Western envoy in Syria said, "I don't understand (why) the Americans are asking the Russians to talk again. They have made zero concessions. Do the Americans believe Moscow was shaken by the break-off last week and will change behaviour now?"
Separately, a Western diplomat in Lausanne said the meeting appeared ill-prepared and vague in its goals, and the list of invitees were clarified only at the last moment.
State department spox Toner: "don't expect any breakthroughs in Lausanne." Hope to get multilateral talks on Syria back up and running.— Julian Borger (@julianborger) October 14, 2016
"If it is to reach an agreement on Aleppo, countries have to make commitments: Russia to stop bombing, Iran to withdraw its militia on the ground supporting Damascus," the diplomat said as the talks were under way.
It was the first meeting between Kerry and Lavrov since the collapse of a second attempted ceasefire in September.
Kerry hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and seven foreign ministers from the region - from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt - weeks after the collapse of a painstakingly crafted US-Russian ceasefire plan that many saw as the last hope for peace this year.
Pressure is rising for a halt to a ferocious, three-week-old Syrian regime offensive to capture the eastern zone of the city of Aleppo, where the United Nations says 275,000 civilians still live and 8,000 rebels are holding out against Syrian, Russian and Iranian-backed forces.
The United Nations has said food, fuel and medicine are running out in eastern Aleppo and there will be no rations to distribute from the start of next month.