GENEVA - Talks among major powers aimed at resolving Syria's bloody conflict "remain challenging" and may nor may not reach a deal, a senior US official said on Saturday.

"Discussions remain challenging. We're continuing to work on this today, but we need a plan that is strong and credible. So we may get there, we may not," the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official spoke after international mediator Kofi Annan met separately with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the start of talks in Geneva which had been intended to forge a consensus plan for Syria.

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