GENEVA - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has given Syria's warring sides until December 27 to name their delegations to planned peace negotiations next month, officials said on Thursday.
About 30 ministers from big powers, regional countries and others are due to gather in the resort of Montreux on Jan. 22 to give their blessing to the negotiations between the government of President Bashar Assad and rebels fighting to oust him.
Then Brahimi will broker the first face-to-face Syrian talks in Geneva from Jan. 23. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to confirm the Montreux ministerial venue shortly - Geneva hotels will be full at the time due to an annual luxury watch fair.
The stated goal is to agree a transitional government with full powers to end a 1,000-day-old conflict that has killed well over 100,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.
Brahimi has set a deadline for Damascus and the opposition to name their teams to the "Geneva 2 conference", which follows one held by his predecessor Kofi Annan in June 2012. Those talks did not formally involve the Syrian government and its foes.
The envoy's spokeswoman, Khawla Mattar, said Brahimi wanted the delegations named by Dec. 27. "That is the deadline by which Mr Brahimi should receive the names of the Syrian delegations and who is leading them," she said.