Syrian opposition groups invited to UN talks in Geneva

Published May 5th, 2015 - 04:30 GMT

Renewed UN-led efforts to revive peace talks in Syria are getting under way in Geneva.

More than 40 Syrian groups including Syrian opposition armed groups have been invited to attend the talks on Tuesday, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said.

The Syrian government, neighboring countries of Syria and members of the UN Security Council have all been invited, he said, without specifying who was in attendance.

Mistura said: "These are not yet peace talks. These are closed, low key, separate structured discussion with parties to consult on the current crisis in Syria.

"This is the necessary ground work before we get to the negotiation table."

"The first meetings are starting as of today and expected to last five to six weeks, and there is no cut-off date," Mistura added.

Asked whether the Geneva consultations would bring peace to Syria, Mistura said: "The bottom line is we have no luxury of not trying."

Syria's civil war, now in its fifth year, has killed more than 220,000 people and forced almost four million to flee the country.


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