Al-Qaida adds urgency to int'l search for Syrian peace

April 14, 2013 22:44

AMMAN - International powers will search for a peaceful settlement to Syria's civil war with fresh urgency at an Istanbul meeting after a rebel faction aligned itself with al-Qaida, diplomats and opposition sources said on Sunday.

Saturday's meeting of 11 countries from the Friends of Syria alliance will come after the al-Nusra Front, among the strongest formations seeking to topple President Bashar Assad, pledged allegiance to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri on April 10.

"We will be meeting under the shadow of the advances of Nusra and other militants. The recent al-Qaida statements have injected a new urgency for the international community to push to end the conflict," said an official who will attend the meeting on the conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people.

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