Both sides in Syria’s deadly civil war will sit around the table for peace talks for the first time since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in early 2011, the United Nations announced Monday.
Setting the January 22 date for the “Geneva 2” peace conference ends six months of wrangling over when Syria's government would meet the opposition for talks.
“We will go to Geneva with a mission of hope,'' U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.
More than 100,000 have died and almost nine million forced to flee their homes by the conflict, the U.N. estimates.
Previous attempts to bring the two sides together have failed mainly because of disputes over who should represent the Syrian opposition and government, and whether Iran, Saudi Arabia and other regional powers should be at the table, Reuters reported.
“The conflict in Syria has raged for too long," the U.N. statement added. "It would be unforgivable not to seize this opportunity to bring an end to the suffering and destruction it has caused."
NBC News' Sarah Burke contributed to this report.
First published November 25 2013, 4:50 AM