UK, US press SNC to attend Syria talks

Britain and the United States have warned Syria’s foreign-backed opposition of stopping their support if they do not participate in the upcoming Geneva conference.

A senior official from the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said on Monday that Washington and London were adamant that the SNC should attend the conference, which is scheduled to begin in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22 and continue in Geneva.

“The US and UK are telling us you need to go to Geneva,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“They are making it very clear that they will not continue to support us the way they are doing now and that we will lose credibility with the international community if we do not go.”

The coalition is yet to decide whether or not to take part in the talks.

“France is asking us to go but saying that we are with you whatever your decision. That is the same as the Saudi and Turkish stance – [they say] we prefer for you to go to Geneva, but if you do not or it does not work, we will not abandon you,” the SNC source added.

He also stated that the support by the United States and the UK was important to the SNC and their withdrawal would cause difficulties.

The Syrian government has said it will participate in the conference, but will not accept any preconditions.

On January 12, Ahmad Jarba, the head of the SNC, said during a press conference after the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Paris that President Bashar al-Assad’s departure was “inevitable.”

Crisis has gripped Syria since March 2011. The United Nations says over 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced due to the turmoil.

By Press TV


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