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UN Envoy Says Syria Peace Talks To Start January 29

The United Nations' envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has said that Syria peace talks originally scheduled to begin on January 25 have been rescheduled to start on January 29.

The talks in Geneva, Switzerland have been delayed because of disagreements with Russia and Iran, which support the Syrian government, over which groups can represent the opposition.

De Mistura said on January 25 that invitations would be sent out to opposition figures on January 26.

He said the UN-brokered talks would begin with a focus on the possibility of a broad cease-fire and increasing humanitarian aid deliveries before moving on to the issues of governance, constitutional review, and future elections in Syria.

He said the first round of talks should last two to three weeks, and the process should continue for about six months.

De Mistura also stressed the importance of keeping the momentum of the peace talks, but said he expects a lot of posturing and walk-outs during the talks.

Earlier, the UN envoy and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had said that the invitations for the talks should not be sent out until “all pieces are lined up.”

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP