Syria – Conflict

Syrian Opposition Meets to Decide on Syria Peace Talks

Syrian Opposition Meets to Decide on Syria Peace Talks
Wed Jan 27, 2016 19:47:23

Syrian opposition members met Wednesday to decide whether to attend UN peace talks, as wrangling over who will go threatens to derail the biggest push yet to resolve the war.

The Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee — formed last month in an effort to unite Syria’s fractious opposition — met in Riyadh for a second day on whether to accept a UN invitation to the talks due to start Friday.

The Committee insists it must be the sole opposition delegation at the talks in Geneva and is asking for “clarifications” after the UN issued invitations to other regime opponents.

The negotiations were already delayed from Monday over the issue of who will represent the myriad forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s nearly five-year civil war.

Committee spokesman Monzer Makhous told AFP the Riyadh discussions had resumed and could last all day.

Diplomats, including US Secretary of State John Kerry who met with Committee members at the weekend, have piled pressure on the opposition to go to Geneva.

The talks are part of a UN-backed plan agreed by top diplomats last year in Vienna that envisages negotiations, followed by the creation of a transitional government, a new constitution and elections within 18 months, AFP reported.

S/SH

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