X Close


Published: Sunday January 12, 2014 MYT 11:30:01 PM
Updated: Sunday January 12, 2014 MYT 11:30:01 PM

Friends of Syria group urges opposition to attend Geneva talks

PARIS (Reuters) - The "Friends of Syria", an alliance of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries who oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, urged opposition groups on Sunday to attend this month's peace talks, saying there was no alternative for a political solution.

"There is no other political solution," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on behalf of the group. "There will be no political solution for Syria unless 'Geneva 2' meets."

An internationally sponsored meeting bringing Assad's government and opposition groups to the table is due to be held from January 22 in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

In a final statement, the 11 core Friends of Syria nations urged the Syrian National Coalition to attend the talks. The grouping of Western-backed rebels is deeply divided on whether to go and will announce a decision on January 17.

"We urge the National Coalition to respond positively to the invitation to set up the Syrian opposition delegation sent by the U.N. Secretary General," the Friends said in a joint communiqué.

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

Coalition President Ahmed al-Jarba, who attended the Paris meeting, did not say whether he believed the Coalition would send a delegation, but said he was reassured that the 11 nations had agreed that there could be no transition if Assad remained in power.

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

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Kevin Liffey)


  1. Husband forces pregnant wife to have sex with Bangladeshi worker
  2. Zahid Hamidi: Majority of non-Malays moderate, respect other races
  3. UM law lecturer Azmi Sharom denies sedition charge
  4. Langkawi Sky Bridge to reopen in December
  5. Time to call a spade a spade
  6. Zahid Hamidi: Action imminent against Sabah secession proponents
  7. IGP Khalid: No forgiveness, wait for police action
  8. UM lecturer Azmi Sharom faces sedition charge
  9. MH17: Names of nine returning victims released
  10. Khairy slams PPS, asks why Penang did not work with Rakan Cop