Middle East

UN eyes Montreux for Syria peace conference

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, left, and Prime Minister of the opposition-backed Syrian interim government Ahmad Tomeh, right, pose for the media at the Foreign Ministry in Paris, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. Ahmad Tomeh is meeting Laurent Fabius in Paris ahead of the Geneva peace talks set for January 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

GENEVA: A U.N. spokeswoman says organizers are weighing moving part of January's Syria peace conference to the other end of Lake Geneva because of insufficient hotel rooms in Geneva itself.

Corinne Momal-Vanian says Montreux - the swank home of the jazz festival - is "certainly a possibility" because Geneva's hotels are fully booked for a luxury watch fair that draws more than 12,000 people each year to the Swiss city that is a global center of watchmaking.

But she told reporters Tuesday that the Syria peace conference will remain "a very Geneva-centered process" because of the presence of the U.N.'s European headquarters.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon set Jan. 22 as the start date for the long-delayed peace conference that follows the first one in June 2012.

 

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