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Russia, U.S. deny date set for Syria peace conference

Published: Updated:

Russia and the United States said no date has been set for the planned Geneva II talks, denying an earlier statement by a senior Syrian official that the conference was to be held next month.

Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said on Thursday that Geneva II, an international conference aimed at seeking an end to the country’s civil war, is scheduled to be held between Nov. 23-24, reported Reuters.

Jamil announced the dates at a news conference in Moscow when asked whether the discussions would be pushed back from mid-November to late November or December this year.

Russia and the United States have been trying to organize the conference since May.

Jamil later said that the announced dates were relayed to him by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“This is what Ban Ki-moon is saying, not me,” he told Reuters

A spokeswoman for the U.N. Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi also said the timing of the conference had not yet been agreed.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said it was the responsibility of the U.N. secretary-general to announce the dates.

The United States seconded that.

“We have discussed potential dates but nothing has been finalized,” State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily briefing. “No date is final until it is set and announced by the U.N.”