Syrian opposition holds unity talks in Spain

Syrian opposition holds unity talks in Spain
Branches of the divided Syrian opposition, including former leader of the National Coalition Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, held talks in Madrid back in May. Photo: Karim Sabih/AFP
Supporters of the Syrian opposition kicked off two days of talks in Spain on Thursday to try to narrow their differences ahead of a planned peace conference, the Spanish government said.

The talks in the southern city of Cordoba brought together "relevant voices of the opposition" against the civil war-torn country's President Bashar al-Assad, the Spanish foreign ministry said.

It expected "between 120 and 150 members of political parties and civil society groups, as well as religious and social leaders" to attend, it added in a statement, without specifying exactly who was at the talks.

A UN-chaired peace conference known as "Geneva 2" is scheduled in the Swiss town of Montreux for January 22, but there is strong resistance within the anti-Assad rebel movement to attending.

The Spanish statement called the meeting in Cordoba, an old Islamic city, "a new opportunity to facilitate dialogue and reduce the fragmentation of the Syrian opposition in the Geneva 2 process".


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