Syrian armed, political opposition to meet in Riyadh

Dozens of Syrian armed and political opposition to meet in Saudi capital of Riyadh in joint conference next week

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Syrian opposition forces shoot through a hole in a wall towards forces loyal to the regime in 2013 in Aleppo.

A member in the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Samir Nashar, said on Friday that dozens of armed and political opposition figures are planning to meet in a joint conference in the Saudi capital of Riyadh next week.

"The meeting will be in Riyadh on Tuesday and Wednesday, and maybe Thursday if necessary," Nashar said.

At least 10 opposition figures have been invited alongside 20 members of the SNC.

Saudi Arabia has been backing the opposition against Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, since the war started in 2011.

A co-founder of the Cairo Conference opposition group Haytham Manaa said that 85 people would attend the meeting in Riyadh, according to AFP. Fifteen of them would be from armed opposition.

"We received some twenty invitations for the meeting that will be held on December 8 and 9," Manaa said.

However, Nashar said that the Kurdish PYD and its affiliated YPG armed wing are not invited yet. According to an opposition source, the armed groups invited to attend the conference are those which are "not considered terrorist groups."

The UN peace envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, announced on November 21 that Saudi Arabia would host a conference between the Syrian opposition in mid-December. 

On November 21, the UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura announced that Saudi Arabia would host a broad opposition conference in mid-December.

The conference aims to unite both armed and political opposition for expected talks with the Syrian regime over a political solution with a post-Assad phase.

The war in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 250,000, although the death toll is expected to be more than 380,000, including more than 188,000 civilians.

TRTWorld and agencies