Much anticipated peace talks ended in an exchange of insults and no agreement after a week of conferences in Geneva.
Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said the opposition were immature, while the opposition’s Louay Safi said the regime had no desire to stop the bloodshed.
However, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said he had seen some “common ground”, and scheduled more talks for 10 February.
The opposition has agreed to take part, but Mr Muallem refused to commit.
“We represent the concerns and interests of our people. If we find that [another meeting] is their demand, then we will come back,” he told reporters.
Mr Safi said the opposition would not sit in talks “endlessly”, and urged the government to “talk seriously about transferring power”.
The two sides discussed humanitarian issues and possible ways to end the violence.