Syrian opposition sees bleak prospects for US-Russia talks

May 8, 2013 13:32


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BEIRUT- Leaders of Syria's political and armed opposition said on Wednesday they were sceptical of a plan by the United States and Russia to bring together the warring sides in their country's two-year conflict for a peace conference.

A day after the announcement by Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow of plans for a peace conference, opposition figures said they were still reluctant to talk with President Bashar Assad's government.

They worry that a peace conference would be cover for a diplomatic initiative to press them to accept Assad or his inner circle as leaders in a future transitional government.

"Before making any decisions we need to know what Assad's role would be. That point has been left vague, we believe intentionally so, in order to try to drag the opposition into talks before a decision on that is made," said Samir Nashar, a member of the opposition's umbrella National Coalition body.

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