記事の中で気になった表現は"poles apart"です。Oxford Dictionaries.comには"Have nothing in common"と定義されております。同義語で"poles asunder"もあるようです（SPACEALC）。（Ume）
Syria conflict: Sides trade blame over talks' suspension
It was always known these talks would be difficult, but no-one expected them to end after just two days, with the UN special envoy standing in the driving sleet outside the opposition's Geneva hotel to deliver the news.
Staffan de Mistura insists this is a temporary pause, not failure. But these negotiations never really got started. Hardly any of the planned meetings with UN negotiators actually happened, the two sides were never even in the UN at the same time, let alone in the same room.
Their conditions for engaging in negotiations were poles apart: the opposition wanted sieges lifted and prisoners released, the Syrian government played for time, asking for a written agenda and a full list of participants.
Meanwhile, on the ground, the war rages on, with the Syrian army, backed by Russian bombing, retaking rebel-held territory. The UN says the peace talks will start again on 25 February, but if the military push continues, things in Syria could look very different by then.