Syrian opposition decides to attend Geneva2 talks

Syrian opposition decides to attend Geneva2 talks
Sat Jan 18, 2014 23:27:56

The so-called Syrian National Coalition, the Turkey-based foreign-backed group that opposes the Syrian government, has finally agreed to take part in the UN-sponsored Geneva II talks on Syria due to begin next week in Switzerland.

The development was announced Saturday by the coalition’s media office amid deep divisions with the coalition members and increasing pressure from their Western backers and sponsors.

The long-delayed Geneva II Conference is scheduled to commence on Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux with representatives from selected foreign governments, foreign-backed opposition leader and representatives from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Out of around 73 Syrian National Coalition members who voted, 58 backed the motion to attend and 14 voted against it. Another 44 members had already withdrawn from the vote.

The Geneva II conference is widely viewed as an opportunity to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis. The UN has set January 22, 2014, as the date for the talks.

The foreign-sponsored insurgency in Syria began in March 2011. According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the unrest.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has become one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.


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