Friends of Syria Group Says Talks only Option

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The so called 'Friends of Syria', an alliance of countries who support the Syrian opposition, said the only way for a political solution to end the Syrian crisis is for peace talks in Geneva to take place.

Friends of Syria Group Says Talks only Option

"There is no other political solution," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said speaking on behalf of the group on Sunday.

"There will be no political solution for Syria unless Geneva 2 meets."

An international meeting bringing President Bashar al-Assad's government and opposition groups to the table is set to be held from January 22 in Switzerland.

The main opposition bloc, the National Coalition, is under intense pressure to confirm its participation and has said it will decide on the issue on January 17.

"We urge the National Coalition to respond positively to the invitation to set up the Syrian opposition delegation sent by the UN Secretary General," the 11-nation Friends of Syria group said in a joint statement, Al Jazeera reported.

"We invite them to form, as soon as possible, a delegation of opposition forces to participate in the political process."

The leader of the Coalition, Ahmad Jarba, attended the Paris talks and said in a news conference that the Friends of Syria had agreed that Assad and his family will have no role in the country's future.

"We are all in agreement to say that Assad has no future in Syria," he said.

The Friends of Syria grouping is made up of the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan.

The Syrian government has said it will attend the conference in Switzerland but that Assad stepping down is not an option.

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