PARIS - Syrian opposition leaders will meet in Paris this
month, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday, decrying an
"abominable" situation in which he said 100 people a day were being killed in an
uprising against President Bashar Assad.
"The situation is horrific
and Bashar must go as fast as possible," Fabius said.
"There will be a
meeting of the coalition in Paris in a few days, on the 28th. It's a coalition recognized by more than 100 countries, led by extremely respectable people who
simply want to restore democracy in Syria," he said.
leaders met in Istanbul on Saturday to launch their second bid to form a
Agreement among the National Coalition, a
grouping formed last November, could help address international concern about
the risk of Syria disintegrating along ethnic and sectarian lines if Assad
Failure would highlight the divisions in the coalition, formed
with Western and Gulf backing in Qatar, and undermine that
Fabius, interviewed on radio station Europe 1, said that the
Paris meeting later this month would involve the "main backers" of the
France has been pressing hard for an end to a
22-month conflict in which 60,000 people have been killed, according to United
Nations estimates. "This is an abominable situation, with sadly around 100
people killed a day," Fabius said.
Syria's foreign minister said on
Saturday any discussion of Assad's future was "unacceptable", a week after an
international envoy said the president should not be part of a transitional