Syria opposition sets preconditions for talks

Syrian National Coalition says it intends to join Geneva peace talks, but only if certain conditions are met.

    Syria opposition sets preconditions for talks
    Requisites for attending talks includes the demand that the conference result in a political transition [AFP]

    The Syrian political opposition has agreed to participate in international peace talks in Geneva, but only if certain preconditions are met, the Syrian National Coalition has said in a statement.

    The statement, released early on Monday, 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 requisites included the need for a guarantee that relief agencies be allowed access to besieged areas, the release of political prisoners and the demand that any conference should result in a political transition.

    "The oppositions’ request asked for an end to the fighting, withdrawal of Syrian armed forces from major cities and discussed an urgency of the introduction of humanitarian aid," Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught reported from Istanbul, where the SNC was meeting..

    The main sticking point continued to be centered on the role of Bashar al-Assad, with the opposition demanding that Syria’s president not have any part in the country's future.

    The statement also said a committee had been assigned to continue talks with revolutionary forces inside and outside Syria to explain its stance on the "Geneva 2" conference, after some rebel fighters voiced opposition.

    The Syrian National Coalition reached a decision to attend the Geneva 2 conference after two days of discussions in Istanbul.

    "All we can do is hope is that these talks will end with the departure of Bashar al-Assad," said Adib Shishakly, a member of the coalition.

    Russia and Western nations are pushing for new talks between the Syrian government and rebels on a negotiated solution to the conflict, which has killed more than 115,000 people since March 2011.

    The peace talks aim to map a path forward towards a political transition in Syria, and to put in place a transitional government.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.