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Syrian peace talks begin Jan. 22 in Switzerland

Syrian peace talks begin Jan. 22 in Switzerland
UPI/Pat Benic | License Photo

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The United Nations confirmed Tuesday a long-sought international peace conference on Syria will begin Jan. 22 in Montreux, Switzerland.

The conference will then move to Geneva, a statement said. The choice of two locations is meant to ease congestion in Geneva, which will be welcoming visitors to the World Economic Forum at Davos the same day.

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"[At] the first part in Montreux, delegations of all invited countries would have an opportunity to express their views on the issue," said U.N. spokeswoman Khawla Mattar. The talks in Geneva, she added, will be restricted to the two Syrian delegations and U.N. Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi.

Further details will be discussed during a meeting Friday between Brahimi and Russian and U.S. officials, the statement said.

Eight million Syrians have been driven from their homes, and more than 100,000 killed, since the conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, and rebels seeking to oust him from power, erupted in 2011.

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