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UN envoy sets Syria peace talks target date for Jan 25

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-27 08:58

UNITED NATIONS - The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Saturday voiced his hope that he can bring representatives of the Syrian government and opposition together to launch the intra-Syria peace talks in Geneva on Jan. 25.

De Mistura, in a statement issued by his spokesperson in Geneva, said that Jan. 25 is "a target date," and he "has intensified efforts" towards the Syria peace talks to seek a political solution to the Syria crisis, which broke out in March 2011 and reportedly left more than 300,000 people dead.

The UN special envoy also hoped the proposed Syria peace talks could include "the broadest possible spectrum of the Syrian opposition and others" in a bid to "engage in a political process leading towards implementation of the objectives and principles for a political solution to the Syrian conflict as contained in the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012, and the Vienna Statements of Oct. 30 and Nov. 14, 2015" and the resolution unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council on Dec. 18, the statement said.

The latest council resolution on Syria endorsed an international roadmap for a Syrian-led political transition in order to end the country's conflict, which calls for Syrian peace talks to begin in early January.

The resolution also calls for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria to come into effect "as soon as the representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition have begun initial steps towards a political transition under UN auspices."

The resolution expressed its support to statements agreed during previous talks in Geneva and Vienna, while stressing that "the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria."

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

"The special envoy also relies on the continued crucial support of the International Syria Support Group," which includes world and regional powers, such as Britain, France, the United States, Russia, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, said the statement.

"The people of Syria have suffered enough," the statement said. "Their tragedy is now felt throughout the region and beyond."

"They deserve the full attention and commitment from all their Syrian representatives, who should now show leadership and vision to overcome differences for the sake of Syria," the statement added.

Geneva has been the venue for two previous rounds of the UN-mediated Syria peace talks between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition, but the talks have failed to yield any significant results.

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