By Nick Cumming-Bruce, December 22, 2015, published in The New York Times

GENEVA — The United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, expects to convene a new round of talks “sometime towards the end of January” aimed at ending the Syrian conflict, Michael Moller, the head of the organization’s Geneva office, told reporters on Tuesday.

Representatives of the Syrian government and its opponents will participate, United Nations officials said, without giving a specific date or any details about exactly who will take part.

“Almost everybody wants these talks to be successful, so that we can finally get a political solution to this really unacceptable problem,” Mr. Moller said, adding that he expected greater clarity towards the middle of January.

On Friday, the Security Council unanimously backed a diplomatic road map for settling the Syrian conflict, including peace talks, a cease-fire and eventual elections. But the resolution skirted many of the most sensitive issues, including the future role of President Bashar al-Assad and exactly which elements of the opposition would be at the negotiating table.

The council’s action culminated weeks of accelerating consultations among global and regional powers over how to end the conflict, which has raged for five years with an estimated 250,000 deaths and millions more driven from their homes.

Secretary of State John Kerry said after the vote on Friday that decisions would have to follow within a month or two concerning the creation of a transitional government in Syria.

Read the original article here.