But the warring sides are still far apart.
Opposition: We want progress, not delaying tactics
Brahimi said he hoped that, after a period of reflection, the two sides would return to the table "ready to engage seriously" over how to implement the so-called Geneva communique that led to the talks. It calls for ending the conflict and establishing a transitional government.
The opposition has proposed a transitional government that would oversee a halt in the fighting, releasing prisoners of conscience, maintaining law and order, bringing to justice those responsible for violence and protecting human rights.
Its plan excludes al-Assad from continued leadership, an outcome unacceptable to the longtime Syrian leader.
But Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad said Friday that the opposition has "an unrealistic agenda," and he insisted the first step must be "stopping the violence and ending terrorism."
The government refers to the rebels as foreign-backed terrorists, so Makdad's stance in essence calls for the opposition to unilaterally lay down its arms.
"We confirm we are willing to discuss the issue of the transitional government after we reach an agreement regarding ending terrorism," he said.
French diplomat slams regime, praises opposition
Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, blamed the Syrian government for the lack of advancement.
"I condemn the attitude of the Syrian regime that has blocked any progress on the establishment of a transitional government and increased violence and acts of terror against the civilian population," he said. "I salute the courage and sense of responsibility of the Syrian National Coalition that has adopted a constructive position throughout the negotiations."
He urged those people and entities that have influence with the al-Assad government to "bring it to more quickly respect the demands of the international community."