Monday, November 11, 2013

Syrian National Coalition now agrees to go to Geneva under conditions

Khaled Saleh
The Syrian opposition group the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), agreed Monday to attend the Geneva peace conference but set as conditions the creation of humanitarian corridors and the release of detained rebels, Xinhua reports.  The SNC reached the agreement in a vote early Monday morning after two days of meeting attended by more than 100 key members in Istanbul, according to a statement.
 The statement insisted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down in any future transitional government. "Assad will have no role in the transitional period and the future of Syria." The coalition is also expected to approve a list of ministers presented by its interim Prime Minister, Ahmad Toumeh, who was elected in September.

The United States and Russia are trying to convene the talks in Geneva by the end of this year with an aim to end the 31-month conflict in Syria. SNC spokeman Khalid Saleh said  that the coalition welcomes any political solution and is ready to go to Geneva. "We believe that political solution is the only way to stop the bloodshed ... and we are fully committed to the Geneva communique," referring to the document produced in the previous conference also held in the Swiss city in 2012.
Saleh added some coalition members will go to Syria for talks with other groups on a unified position to represent the broader opposition. It's going to be meeting with different FSA (Free Syrian Army) brigades, having a discussion with them around Geneva," Saleh said. "If we're going to be in Geneva, they are going to be part of that delegation," he said of the rebel units. The delegation will also meet with civilian groups.

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