Important group of Syrian opposition says it it will not attend Geneva talks

A key group within the Syrian opposition National Coalition said Sunday it would not attend proposed peace talks in Geneva and would quit the Coalition if it participated.

The decision deals a potential blow to international efforts to convene a peace conference in Geneva, which was first proposed for June but has been pushed back multiple times.

The Syrian Red Crescent meanwhile said it had evacuated around 1,500 people from a suburb of the capital Damascus that has been under a regime siege for months.

The president of Syrian National Council, the biggest member of the opposition Coalition, said on Sunday that it was impossible to carry out negotiations given the suffering of people on the ground.

“The Syrian National Council, which is the biggest bloc in the Coalition, has taken the firm decision… not to go to Geneva, under the present circumstances (on the ground),” George Sabra said.

“This means that we will not stay in the Coalition if it goes” to the peace talks, he added.

 

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