Syria talks result in 'concrete calendar' leading to polls'

Top diplomats from 17 countries and three organisations had agreed they would aim for a first meeting between Syrian regime.

Vienna: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said world diplomats gathered in Vienna had agreed on a fixed calendar for Syria that would see a transition government in six months and elections in 18 months.

"We have agreed that this transition process must be over in 18 months, and will include the creation of a Syrian transition government in six months," Steinmeier.

He said top diplomats from 17 countries and three organisations had agreed they would aim for a first meeting between Syrian regime and opposition representatives by January 1, and hoped for a ceasefire by that time.

"No one is lying to themselves about the difficulties we are facing, but the determination to find a solution has progressed in 14 days," since the first round of talks in Vienna.

"It still appears Utopian but we have all the powers around the table," said Steinmeier.

He said the meeting had taken place in the shadow of the deadly attacks in Paris Friday night, which had "increased the determination to move forward."

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