PARIS: Ahmad Jarba, the leader of Syria’s opposition National Coalition, said on Sunday that the US-led “Friends of Syria” grouping had agreed that President Bashar Al Assad and his family will have no role in the country’s future.
Jarba did not announce whether or not the opposition would take part in peace talks with representatives of Assad’s regime due to start next week in Switzerland. The coalition, which is under intense pressure to confirm its participation, has said it will decide on the issue on Jan.17.
The Friends of Syria said on Sunday that the only way for political solution in Syria is for peace talks in Geneva to take place.
“There is no other political solution,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said speaking on behalf of the group.” There will be no political solution for Syria unless Geneva 2meets.”
Western powers on Sunday stepped up their pressure on Syria’s divided opposition to enter talks with Assad’s regime at the start of a new round of diplomatic efforts to end the country’s civil war.
US Secretary of State John Kerry joined ministers from 10 other countries at a Paris meeting aimed at persuading the opposition National Coalition to attend a first round of talks scheduled for Montreux, Switzerland on Jan.22.