GENEVA — The United Nations plans to precede its internationally brokered peace talks between Syria's warring sides next month with a one-day meeting of foreign ministers in the Swiss city of Montreux, officials said Tuesday.
A daylong gathering for speeches by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and more than two dozen other foreign ministers is planned for Jan. 22 at a Montreux hotel. It is to be overseen by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, with help from the Swiss government.
The session is taking place at the opposite end of Lake Geneva from the U.N. European headquarters because a luxury watch fair has taken up all the hotel rooms in Geneva for several days, Khawla Mattar, a spokesman for the U.N.-Arab League's special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Tuesday.
Montreux, home of the famous jazz festival, was chosen because it has the security, facilities and hotels for such a high-profile gathering. Mattar said the foreign ministers will demonstrate "that there is global interest in solving" the Syria crisis.