Fractured Syrian opposition hesitant to participate in peace talks

BY newsdesk  October 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM EST


Photo by Reuters

As several nations, including the U.S., take steps to convene Geneva talks in hopes of ending Syria’s civil war, Reuters reported Tuesday that rebel groups are hesitant to participate as long as President Bashar al-Assad remains in control of the Syrian government.
“The Sultan must leave. Geneva cannot succeed and we cannot take part if it allows Assad to gain more time to spill the blood of our people while the world looks on,” Syrian opposition chief Ahmed Jarba said.

Reuters reported that many Islamist fighters in Syria do not recognize the Syrian opposition groups backed by the West. Saudi Arabia also impedes progress on talk by favoring a stronger, military approach against Assad’s regime.

The United States, Russia, Syria and the United Nations stated that no date had been set yet for Geneva 2, a diplomatic summit in Geneva on the Syrian crisis. The Arab League’s chief said Sunday that UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told him the date had been set for Nov. 23.