UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday is sending invitations for the Geneva II conference, calling it "a unique opportunity for ending the violence" in Syria.
According to a statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson, the Geneva II conference aims to bring two "broadly representative and credible" delegations of the Syrian government and opposition to a negotiating table in order to end the conflict and launch a political transition process through the full implementation of the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012. The list of invitees was determined on Dec. 20 at a trilateral meeting held among the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Nations.
"The Conference will convene under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General, first in an international high-level format at Montreux, Switzerland, on 22 January 2014," said the statement. " Negotiations between the two Syrian parties, facilitated by Joint Special Representative Brahimi, will start at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 24 January 2014."
The UN chief "views the conference as a unique opportunity for ending the violence and ensuring that peace can be restored and the transition foreseen in the Geneva Communique can be implemented in a way that fully meets the aspirations of the Syrian people," the statement said. "At the core of this effort is the establishment of a transitional governing body based on mutual consent."
In answering a question about Iran's possibility of participating in the Geneva II conference at Monday's daily briefing, 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 produced final results yet.
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 United Nations urges the Syrian opposition to name their broadly representative delegation as soon as possible, so as to allow sufficient time to prepare for negotiations," said the UN acting deputy spokesperson.