Geneva II conference

Added On January 7, 2014

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday sent out invitations for the Geneva II  conference, calling it "a unique opportunity for ending the violence" in Syria.
The new round of peace talks for Syria will be held on 22nd of January.
The negotiations will be the first direct talks between President Bashar al-Assad's  government and the country's rebels.
The list of invitees was determined on Dec. 20 at a trilateral meeting held among the United Nations, the Russian Federation and the United States.
UN acting deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq stressed that Ban had said he is in favor of inviting Iran, but discussions between the initiating states have not yet produced final results.
Haq disclosed that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would meet on Jan. 13 and expressed the hope the two would reach an agreement on Iran's participation. 
He stressed that the active support of regional powers in a political solution is critical.
According to Haq, the Syrian opposition has not yet named members of its delegation for the Geneva II conference.
The first Geneva meeting was held in June, 2012, with a Communique laying out key steps toward ending the violence.
In May this year, the U.S. and Russia announced that they they would work together to achieve a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and agreed to convene another international conference in Geneva aimed at achieving that goal.