By Julian Hattem - 01/25/16 09:50 AM EST
Despite a delay, Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryObama administration officials ramp up push for Pacific pact Overnight Defense: GOP leaders express concerns after 9/11 veto override | Lawmakers press for Syria 'plan B' | US touts anti-ISIS airstrikes No GOP leaders attending Shimon Peres funeral MORE appeared optimistic Monday about the peace talks aimed at ending the civil war in Syria.
In the next 24 to 48 hours, Kerry and other diplomats will find “clarity" about the path forward for the negotiations, he said.
The talks, which were originally set to begin on Monday, have been pushed back until Friday, United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura said later on Monday morning.
Diplomats have bickered for days about who to invite to participate in the talks, given the fractured parties on all sides.
“There are a lot of factions here, folks, and when — lot of different interests at play too,” Kerry said.
“We have created a framework,” he added. “Syrians have the ability to decide the future of Syria, with countries that are involved and engaged backing one group or another on the sidelines, advising and pushing and cajoling and encouraging.”
Invitations to negotiating groups would be sent out on Tuesday, de Mistura said.
However, the negotiations will only be “proximity” talks that could stretch out for six months, he added, suggesting a protracted series of discussions.
The various groups “are not in an agreement yet, but we are all feeling that … the time has come to at least try hard to produce an outcome.”
The peace talks, which are set to talk place in Geneva, have been the prime diplomatic avenue for international negotiators trying to end the spiraling chaos in Syria. More than 250,000 people have died in the four years of violence, and regions of the country are now split up between Islamic extremists, rebel groups and the fledgling government of Bashar Assad.