After days of accusation and counter accusation in Geneva, the second round of talks on Syria ended in a deadlock on Saturday.
"I apologise to the Syrian people ... I apologise to them that in these two rounds we haven't helped them very much," the UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said after the talks.
Brahimi said he had instructed all involved to reflect on their negotiating positions: "I have suggested it is not good for the process and not good for Syria that we come back for another round and fall in the same trap that we have been struggling with this week and most of first round."
Al Jazeera's Diplomatic Editor James Bays, who has been following the Geneva talks, reported the government delegation and opposition spoke for less than 30 minutes before talks ended.
Both sides remained unbending over their stated positions.
The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) maintains the only way forward is immediate talks on a transitional government. Meanwhile, the Syrian government argues the main priority is "fighting terrorism".
Even the intervention of senior diplomats from Russia and the US did not break the deadlock.
While the stalemate continues, the fighting has intensified inside Syria. More than 5,000 people have been killed since the second round of talks began in Geneva which is almost 1,000 people killed every day, the highest since the conflict began.
On this episode of Inside Syria, we ask what hope is there for third round of talks and if there is an alternative approach to end Syria's civil war.
Presenter: Shihab Rattansi
Pavel Felgenhauer, Journalist and political analyst in Moscow.
Professor Richard Rubenstein, Political scientist and expert in conflict resolution at George Mason University, USA.
Professor Mahjoob Zweiri, a Middle East analyst at Qatar University, Doha.