Nov. 25 - The United Nations announced an international peace conference for Syria will begin on January 22 in Geneva, Switzerland. Sarah Irwin reports.
The United Nations announces a peace summit for Syria starting on January 22 in Geneva. With more than 100,000 dead in the civil war in Syria since 2011, the summit will mark the first direct talks between the government of President Bashir al-Assad and the rebels looking to overthrow him. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the goal the so-called "Geneva 2" conference will be transitional government in Syria. Soundbite: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying: "We have a full goal, the full implementation of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012 - including the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities." On Monday, the U.N.'s special envoy for Syria - Lakhdar Brahimi - met with U.S. and Russian officials in Geneva. A major stumbling block in the negotiations had been whether Syria's ally - Iran - would attend the conference. U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. SOUNDBITE: U.N.'s special envoy for Syrian Lakhdar Brahimi, saying: "We are still discussing the complete list of participants and we will be meeting again on the 20th of December for another trilateral." The U.S. has opposed Tehran's participation in talks for Syria - while Russia and Brahimi supported it.