UN Syria envoy to reconvene Geneva peace talks next week

The office of the U.N.'s Syria envoy says he plans to reconvene political talks between government envoys and opposition leaders next week in Geneva.

Staffan de Mistura's office said late Monday that he will convene the sixth round of talks since early last year on May 16, and he will brief the U.N. Security Council later this month.

A statement from de Mistura's office says he hopes an agreement struck last week in Astana, Kazakhstan, by world powers that back the two main sides in Syria's civil war will help reduce violence and bolster the political initiative.

De Mistura has been in the post nearly three years and the two sides are still not talking face-to-face. Iran and Russia support Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey backs the rebel fighters.