Syrian opposition reaffirms 'Assad must leave'



Sun, 19 Nov 2017 - 10:34 GMT


Sun, 19 Nov 2017 - 10:34 GMT

Leading Syrian dissident Riad Seif (L) speaks with former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab- Reuters

Leading Syrian dissident Riad Seif (L) speaks with former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab- Reuters

CAIRO - 19 November 2017: "The Syrian opposition forces reaffirm Bashar al-Assad must leave," said head of the Syrian Coalition, Riad Seif on Friday.

Seif noted that the upcoming Riyadh conference, due on December 22, will strengthen the position of the opposition in the upcoming round in Geneva talks.

Meanwhile, 144 Syrian opposition members were invited to the Riyadh conference, set to take place on November 22 on the years-long Syrian crisis.

During the first visit of its kind on November 12, a delegation from the Kurdish National Council discussed with Saudi Foreign Ministry officials the possibility of the their participation in the conference, amid talks about the Saudis growing closer to the Kurds in Syria, according to media reports.

"The Syrian opposition meeting in the Saudi capital will assess the performance of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC), and review the negotiating mechanisms," Seif revealed on Friday.

Seif stressed that the Syrian opposition is decisively settled on the stance that Assad must go. "The opposition will not waver," he said, adding that most participants in the Riyadh gathering support that view. He said that the conference would come out with a clear vision for the opposition.

Seif expressed concern that the upcoming round of negotiations in Geneva will end in failure. "UN-sponsored negotiations have been ongoing for four years. The Assad regime has not yet shown any readiness for a political solution.”

"If the situation continues like this, there will be no point in any negotiations or any conference," Seif said.

He added: “We participate so that the ranks of the opposition are unified, not to produce a fake opposition or one that is not committed to serving the interests of the Syrian people."

The meeting of the representatives of the Syrian opposition will comprise members of the so-called Moscow and Cairo groups; in addition to the Syrian National Coalition and military commanders of armed opposition groups.

The list of the participants includes 22 seats for the National Coalition, 21 seats for the armed groups, 14 seats for the Coordination Committee, 10 seats for the Cairo group, seven seats for the Moscow group and 70 seats for independent delegates.

The meeting will take place in Saudi capital Riyadh from November 22 to 24. It aims to unite the Syrian opposition before the upcoming round of the Geneva talks which are planned for November 28.



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