Connect to share and comment

Factbox - Key players at Syrian peace talks

AMMAN (Reuters) - President Bashar al- Assad's government and the Syrian opposition are scheduled to sit at peace talks for the first time on Wednesday in Switzerland after nearly three years of civil war. Assad has the advantage of iron control over his delegation, which is led by officials with long diplomatic experience. The political opposition in exile is struggling to overcome internal divisions and is weakened by rebel statements rejecting its authority. Below is a description of key players: GOVERNMENT

Syria talks saved but snubbed Iran warns of failure

Long-awaited peace talks on Syria's devastating civil war are set to go ahead this week after the UN withdrew an invitation to Iran, but Tehran said Tuesday they were doomed to fail. Preparations were under way in the Swiss city of Montreux for Wednesday's start of the so-called Geneva II talks, after the abrupt United Nations reversal averted a Syrian opposition boycott. UN leader Ban Ki-moon late Monday withdrew his surprise invitation to Iran, a major backer of President Bashar al-Assad, less than 24 hours after he announced it.

UN chief boots Iran out of Syria peace talks

In an abrupt reversal, the United Nations barred Iran Monday from this week's Syria peace conference after it refused to back calls for a transitional government to end the country's war. The unprecedented diplomatic action averted a Syrian opposition boycott of the talks, which are scheduled start in the Swiss town of Montreux on Wednesday. But a key bloc in the opposition coalition broke away in protest at the proposed talks with President Bashar al-Assad's representatives.

UN chief boots Iran out of Syria peace talks

UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Monday threw Iran out of this week's Syria peace conference after it refused to back calls for a transitional government to end the country's war. The unprecedented diplomatic action averted a Syrian opposition boycott of the talks which start in the Swiss town of Montreux on Wednesday. But a key bloc in the opposition coalition broke away in protest at the proposed talks with President Bashar al-Assad's representatives. Ban withdrew his surprise invitation to Iran, a major Assad backer, less than 24 hours after he announced it.

Syrian National Council quits opposition coalition

The biggest bloc in Syria's opposition-in-exile, the Syrian National Council, said late Monday it was quitting the umbrella Syrian National Coalition in protest over the Geneva II peace talks with the Damascus regime. The group said taking part in the talks would renege on its "commitments" to not enter negotiations until Syrian President Bashar al-Assad left power -- something he refuses to do. kam-ram/rmb/adm

Syrian National Council quits opposition coalition

The biggest bloc in Syria's opposition-in-exile, the Syrian National Council, said late Monday it was quitting the umbrella Syrian National Coalition in protest over the Geneva II peace talks with the Damascus regime. The group said taking part in the talks would renege on its "commitments" to not enter negotiations until Syrian President Bashar al-Assad left power -- something he refuses to do. kam-ram/rmb/adm

Syria opposition awaits UN stance before decision on peace talks

The exiled Syrian opposition said Monday it would await an expected statement from UN chief Ban Ki-moon about Iran's attendance at peace talks this week before making a final decision to join. The National Coalition meeting in Istanbul has threatened to boycott the so-called Geneva II conference due to open in Switzerland on Wednesday over Ban's decision to invite Iran. It said in a statement that it expected Ban to hold a press conference in the next few hours to give the UN position on the invitation sent to Iran, a move that has plunged the peace talks into disarray.

Syria opposition awaits UN stance before decision on peace talks

The exiled Syrian opposition said Monday it would await an expected statement from UN chief Ban Ki-moon about Iran's attendance at peace talks this week before making a final decision to join. The National Coalition meeting in Istanbul has threatened to boycott the so-called Geneva II conference due to open in Switzerland on Wednesday over Ban's decision to invite Iran. It said in a statement that it expected Ban to hold a press conference in the next few hours to give the UN position on the invitation sent to Iran, a move that has plunged the peace talks into disarray.

Ten killed by twin bombs at Syria-Turkey border post

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Two car bombs hit a rebel-held border post in the northwest Syrian province of Idlib on Monday, opposition activists and fighters said, killing at least 10 people and closing the frontier. The Bab al-Hawa crossing is held by a rebel alliance called the Islamic Front, which have been fighting with the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a small but powerful affiliate of al Qaeda with a core of foreign fighters.

Syria's Assad expects to run again, rejects power deal

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said there is a "significant" chance he will seek a new term and ruled out sharing power with the opposition seeking his ouster, in an exclusive interview with AFP before the Geneva II peace talks. Speaking on Sunday at his presidential palace in Damascus, Assad said he expected Syria's war to grind on. And he called for the talks scheduled to begin on Wednesday in Montreux in Switzerland to focus on what he termed his "war against terrorism". "I see no reason why I shouldn't stand," he said of presidential elections in June.
Syndicate content