UN Secretary-General confirms Syria peace talks to start 22 January

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces to the press the convening of a conference on Syria, to take place in Geneva 22 January, 2014. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The Syrian Government and opposition will face each other at a negotiating table for the first time since the start of the Syrian conflict.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the announcement on 25 November, ahead of the talks scheduled for 22 January in Geneva.

Mr. Ban says he expects the Syrian representatives to come to the conference "with a serious intent to end the war and to implement the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012".

"At long last and for the first time, the Syrian Government and opposition will meet at the negotiating table instead of the battlefield. This is a mission of hope. We go with the clear understanding that the Geneva conference is a vehicle for peaceful transition that fulfils the legitimate aspirations of all the Syrian people, for freedom and dignity, and which guarantees safety and protection to all communities in Syria."  (35'')

The Geneva Communiqué calls for the establishment, by mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities.

The Syrian conflict has left more than 100,000 dead, driven almost nine million from their homes, left countless missing and detained, sending tremors through the region and forcing unacceptable burdens on Syria's neighbours, says Secretary-General Ban.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’32″

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