Main Syrian opposition, in about-face, to attend Rome meeting

CAIRO - The Syrian National Coalition umbrella opposition group said on Monday it will attend the Friends of Syria conference of international powers in Rome next month, reversing a decision last week to suspend participation.
"After discussing with coalition leaders and making various calls... the coalition leadership have decided to stop the suspension of the visit to the Friends of Syria conference in Rome," the SNC leader Moaz Alkhatib wrote on his Facebook page.
Alkhatib said the decision came after statements of support by US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague and promises to ease the suffering of the Syrian people as well as condemnation of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
On February 23 the SNC said it suspended participation in Rome's meeting in protest to the attacks against civilians.
Earlier on Monday, Kerry telephoned Alkhatib to urge him to attend a planned Syria meeting in Rome.