Date for Syria peace talks announced

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Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

Talks aimed at bringing peace to war-torn Syria are set to begin in late January.

The UN's Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said the talks would start on 25 January 2016, with the aim of bringing all "relevant Syrian parties" to the negotiating table in Geneva.

Around a quarter of a million people have been killed in nearly five years of conflict.

Veronica Reeves has the story.

In a statement announcing the talks, Mr de Mistura said "the people of Syria have suffered enough".

He noted that the tragedy in Syria was now being felt far beyond its borders, and called on all parties to show "leadership and vision" to overcome their differences for the sake of the country.

The negotiations will build on previous talks that took place in Geneva in 2012, and more recently in Vienna in October and November of this year.

The announcement comes a little more than a week after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a key resolution aimed at bringing peace to Syria.

Up until then, the 15-member body had been politically paralyzed, unable to reach agreement on the best path forward.

Late last week, the Council also adopted a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Syria, demanding full access for critical food and medical assistance, particularly for those trapped in besieged parts of the country.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 55″

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