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MONTREUX, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The Geneva II Peace Conference has opened in Montreux, Switzerland.
About 40 ministers of foreign affairs — of Russia, the United States and other countries, which are members of the U.N. Security Council, Syria, as well as the U.N. Secretary-General and a delegation of the Syrian opposition have arrived in Switzerland to take part in the forum.
Talks are being held in a format closed for media representatives.
First to the podium of carefully guarded Petit Palace pavilion ascended Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, after him — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and then foreign ministers of Russia and the United States Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry are expected to deliver their speeches.
In total, addresses of about 40 ministers of foreign affairs and officials of world and regional leading states are planned in the forum’s first day. Among the first ones are speeches of Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces representative.
Press conferences will be given to sum up the results of the conference’s first day.
Direct inter-Syrian talks will kick off January 24 in Geneva.
Unprecedented security measures are taken in Montreux, a quiet town on the shores of Geneva Lake. Montreux Palace hotel, where many delegations reside, as well as the pavilion are located in a carefully guarded area. The aerial space over the town is closed.
Journalists have their work places in the Congress Center located nearby. It is not so easy to get there: it takes about 40 minutes to get through the queue before the metal detection arches.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday, January 21, Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy. Lavrov also took part in a tripartite meeting involving Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.