UN to convene Syria peace talks on January 25

UN official says peace talks to convene in Geneva in attempt to end nearly five-year civil war in Syria

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

United Nations special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura talks during a joint news conference

Updated Dec 27, 2015

Syria’s warring parties are to convene peace talks on Jan. 25 in Geneva in attempt to end the nearly five-year civil war in the country, the United Nations said on Saturday.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on Dec. 18 which endorses an International pathway for a Syria peace process.

The UN’s Syria mediator Steffan de Mistura, plans to bring together representatives of the Syrian government and "the broadest possible spectrum of the Syrian opposition and others," his spokesman said in a statement.

"He counts on full cooperation of all the relevant Syrian parties in this process. Continuing developments on the ground should not be allowed to derail it," the statement addressed.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Moualem said on Thursday during a visit to Beijing that Syria is ready to take part in peace talks in Geneva and hopes that the dialogue will help it form a national unity government.

"The people of Syria have suffered enough," the UN statement said.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia hosted a conference to try to build an opposition bloc. The summit agreed to set up a 34-member secretariat to supervise peace negotiations and that committee will also select the opposition negotiating group.

The United Nations is considering its “light touch” options for monitoring a possible ceasefire in Syria, relying largely on Syrians to minimise risks already on the grounds, diplomatic sources have said. 

The war in Syria has so far claimed the lives of over 250,000 people since it began in March 2011 according to UN estimates, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that the true death toll exceeds 350,000.

TRTWorld and agencies