Syrian National Coalition agrees to attend Geneva peace talks

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The Syrian National Coalition agreed on Monday to participate in peace talks in Geneva which are aimed at bringing together the opposition and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to create a transition government and end Syria’s two-year conflict

But the Syrian oppostion’s statement outlined conditions that must be met before the talks, Reuters reported.

This is the first time the group as a whole has committed to the proposed conference, while making stipulations.

The coaltion’s statement said there must be a guarantee that relief agencies would be allowed access to besieged areas, the release of political prisoners and any political conference should result in a political transition, the statement said, according to Reuters.

The Syrian National Coalition reached the consensus decision after two days of discussions.

“All we can do is hope is that these (Geneva) talks will end with the departure of Bashar al-Assad," Adib Shishakly, a member of the coalition was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Major Islamist brigades have declared their opposition to the Geneva process if the conference does not result in Assad's removal and some have said they would charge anyone who attended the planned international talks with treason.

The statement said that a committee had been assigned to continue talks with revolution forces inside and outside Syria to explain its stance the peace talks.

The proposed talks dubbed as “Geneva II” were to be held before the end of November but the Syrian coalition's failure to come up with a clear stance, as well as differences between Washington and Moscow over the purpose of the talks and opposition representation made delays likely.

(With Reuters)

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