Syrian Opposition Agrees to Participate in Geneva Peace Talks

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Western-backed Syrian opposition agreed to participate in international peace talks in Geneva, the Syrian National Coalition said in a statement early on Monday.

Syrian Opposition Agrees to Participate in Geneva Peace Talks

The statement, translated from Arabic, outlined conditions that must be met before the talks, which aim to end Syria's two-and-a-half year civil war, by creating a transitional governing body.

The Syrian National Coalition's leader has expressed a willingness to attend the US and Russian sponsored talks but this is the first time the group as a whole has committed to the proposed conference, while making stipulations.

It was hoped that the talks would take place 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.

The coalition held that previous commitments, such as the aims set out at a first round of Geneva talks and the discussions in London at the end of October, should form the basis for further discussions, Reuters reported.

On Monday, the coalition'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.

Major rebel 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.

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