11/24/2017, 10.06
SYRIA – SAUDI ARABIA - UN
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Syrian opposition sends united delegation to UN talks in Geneva

The announcement came on the second day of ongoing meetings in Riyadh. There are 140 opposition leaders. The goal is to find unity in view of the new round of peace talks, scheduled for 28 November. But Assad's fate continues to be a source of division.

Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - This morning, the various Syrian opposition groups found consensus aimed at sending a united delegation to the next peace talks under the auspices of the UN, scheduled for Geneva (Switzerland) next week. An important breakthrough, coupled with the pact signed by Russia, Iran and Turkey in recent days to launch an "inclusive, free, fair and transparent" political process, confirms the efforts of international diplomacy to put an end to the conflict.

The announcement came on the second day of opposition talks held in Riyadh (among the main supporters of the anti-Assad factions) in the presence of United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura. 140 opposition leaders are meeting in the Saudi capital with the aim of tightening their ranks and reaching an agreement in view of the November 28 meeting.

Bassma Kodmani, a member of the opposition groups, confirms the achievement of the "agreement with the groups in Riyadh, together with the platforms in Cairo and Moscow, for the formation of a unitary delegation to participate in the Geneva talks." Today, the names and number of representatives of each group will be defined, for a total of 50 delegates.

Until now, UN-mediated talks had been attended by the High Negotiation Committee (HNC), a Saudi-backed umbrella group that represents only a part of the vast galaxy of anti-government opposition movements in Syria. This lack of unity had undermined past encounters on several occasions.

However, within this new formation that emerges from Riyadh's meetings there are still substantial divisions: one of them concerns the fate of President Bashar al-Assad, whose expulsion according to some remains an indispensable condition. Firas Al-Khaldi, spokesman for the opposition, stresses that "the participants agree on the importance of [Assad's] resignation and the fall of the regime," while Russia expresses reservations on this issue.

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