Syria peace talks set for January 22 in Geneva: U.N.

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By Stephanie Nebehay and Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - An international peace conference aimed at ending Syria's civil war will be held on January 22, the first face-to-face talks between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and rebels seeking to overthrow him, the United Nations said on Monday. The United Nations is hoping for a peaceful transition in Syria, building on an agreement between world powers reached in June last year. "We will go to Geneva with a mission of hope," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. The announcement came as Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi met senior U.S. and Russian officials in Geneva in his latest effort to get negotiations on track to end a war, now in its third year, that has killed more than 100,000 people.