UN chief targets Syria peace talks for 'mid-December'

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he expected a long-delayed peace conference on Syria's bloody conflict will be held in "mid-December" with a specific date to be set next week.

"I am not able to announce at this time any date. Our target is mid-December," Ban told reporters during a visit to Lithuania.

He said UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will try to set the date in a meeting with Russian and US representatives on November 25.

"They will review and, if possible, I hope that they will be able to set a date so that I can issue a statement," Ban said.

Last week, a Syrian newspaper said the conference dubbed Geneva II would be held on December 12 but the date was not officially confirmed.

The international community has been trying for months to bring government and rebel representatives to the negotiating table but proposed dates have come and gone with no progress.