Geneva 2 Conference on Syria Begins in Switzerland

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A major conference aimed at finding a solution to the three-year conflict in Syria started work in Switzerland on Wednesday.

Geneva 2 Conference on Syria Begins in Switzerland

The Syrian government and the main opposition are attending the Geneva 2 summit along with international allies.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told delegates they faced a "formidable challenge", but there was a chance to "make a new beginning".

However correspondents say no major breakthroughs are expected soon.

The key issue, on which neither side appears willing to budge, is the future of President Bashar al-Assad.

Differences were also laid bare on the eve of the summit, in a report accusing Syria of mass torture and executions.

The conference opened in Montreux on Wednesday, with direct talks beginning in Geneva two days later, BBC reported.

This would be the first time the Syrian government and the opposition have met face-to-face since the start of the conflict which, in addition to the dead, has left millions of Syrians displaced.

The first day will see speeches from some of the 40 or so foreign ministers who have gathered in Montreux.

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