Invitations still pending for Syria peace conference, regime blames opposition for delay
Invitations for the Swiss peace conference on Syria have not yet been issued due to delays in formulating the opposition delegation, according to Agence France-Presse Tuesday.
Syria's Al Watan newspaper, which is considered close to the Syrian regime, reported that "invitations to attend the 'Geneva 2' conference were not sent out as planned on December 28th [according to an official source at the foreign ministry]."
Al Watan added that the foreign ministry source cited the delay as a "result of the floundering efforts to form a delegation representing the 'opposition'."
AFP reported that a December 27 had allegedly been established for both the regime and opposition to submit names of representatives to attend the peace conference scheduled for January 22.
The foreign ministry says that it has already submitted its representative list, but the opposition has not yet done so.
The 'Geneva 2' conference is set to be held in the Swiss town of Montreux in mid-January, but doubts still remain as to whether the conference, which has already been delayed on several occasions will take place at all. The Syrian Opposition National Coalition, considered one of the main opposition parties, has not yet confirmed its participation in the meeting officially, and recently issued statements that it would not attend the talks if the regime continued air raids on Aleppo that has already left 500 people dead within two weeks.
AFP estimates that more than 126,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the conflict in March 2011.
- Ban Ki-moon and Brahimi to discuss Syria peace conference
- Syria conference moved to Montreaux while regime continues air raids on Aleppo for third straight day
- U.N. chief on Geneva II: Syrian govt, opposition invited
- France skeptical of Geneva II talks, says "pessimistic" over Syria
- Friends of Syria to meet with Syria opposition in London talks this week