UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon will convene the Geneva II conference for Syria, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky announced Thursday.
Ban is intensifying efforts to hold the conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in mid-November, said Nesirky at a daily news briefing held here. "It would be for the secretary-general to convene such a conference and to invite the parties to attend."
The planned conference is meant to build on the efforts of a previous one, held in late June 2012 in Geneva, which called for immediate cease-fire between Syrian fighting parties and launching inter-Syrian dialogue for a transitional government.
The UN spokesman also said that the joint special representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will head to the region for consultations with the key parties related to the conference.
According to Nesirky, whether Iran would be invited or not to be present at the forthcoming meeting would be one of the topics to be discussed during Brahimi's meetings. But UN officials have said earlier that Iranian participation would be useful.
DAMASCUS, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- A top Syrian army general was killed while on duty in the county's eastern province of Deir al- Zour, the state-run SANA news agency reported on Thursday.
Jameh Jameh, head of the military intelligence directorate, was killed while conducting his national duty in defending Syria and its people and tracking down "terrorists" in Deir al-Zour, SANA said in a brief comment. Full story
DAMASCUS, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian opposition parties, especially those in exile and the combatants on ground, seem to have fragmented ahead of the upcoming Geneva II peace conference on Syria.
Different factions of the Syrian opposition started to disavow one another over the shape of the political future of Syria as the opposition and the rebels are divided between Islamic and secular ideologies, as the internationally-backed Geneva II conference based on a U.S.-Russian understanding to politically resolve the Syrian crisis, is around the corner. Full story