Syrian opposition will not decide on participation in peace until Jan. 17

Published January 8th, 2014 - 12:20 GMT
The Syrian opposition National Coalition was supposed to decide whether they will attend the peace talks this week, but heated debates have delayed the decision until Jan. 17 (Courtesy of Press TV)
The Syrian opposition National Coalition was supposed to decide whether they will attend the peace talks this week, but heated debates have delayed the decision until Jan. 17 (Courtesy of Press TV)

Syria's main opposition National Coalition has suspended its decision on whether or not the group will partake in peace talks scheduled for later this month until Jan. 17, according to Agence France-Presse.


Following two days of "heated debate" in Istanbul, Syria's exiled opposition group announced that it will not make hold the final vote on whether it will attend the Jan. 22 peace talks in Switzerland's Montreux until five days before the highly-anticipated conference.


"The debates were very heated among the different groups that make up the coalition. It was not possible to take a decision," a source considered close to the opposition said.


The Syrian National Council, one of the main groups part of the coalition, had already told reporters Friday that it would boycott the conference, and has been adamantly against negotiations ahead of President Bashar Al Assad's removal from power.


The coalition previously announced in November that is was "ready" to take part in the peace conference, but only if Assad stepped down and "fully transferred power" to a transitional, independent authority. The November announcement also stipulated "that Bashar Assad and those with the blood of Syrians on their hands have no role in the transitional phase and Syria's future."


Assad's regime, however, has insisted that the president's removal from power will not be on the table at the Geneva conference.


The long-awaited conference is an attempt to find a political solution to the ongoing civil war in Syria.


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