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Cairo and Riyadh See Eye-to-Eye on Syria, Yemen Prior to Conference

Coalition member says similarities between Egypt and Saudi Arabia's visions would help reach a shared view on the Syrian issue, particularly on the fate of President Bashar al-Assad
Cairo and Riyadh See Eye-to-Eye on Syria, Yemen Prior to Conference

Syria’s political opposition is looking forward to the upcoming Cairo Conference to be held next week, despite the Syrian National Coalition’s boycott. The Coalition still believes that the results of the conference may reflect on the future Riyadh Conference, which was recently postponed until after the holy month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will hold meetings with military and political opposition figures, including the National Coalition on Thursday in Istanbul. The meetings are part of the consultations to be held before the upcoming Geneva III conference. The meetings come following the Coalition’s decision to refuse to form a delegation to meet De Mistura in Geneva. The Coalition instead sent a letter explaining its position on any political solution in Syria, in addition to inviting De Mistura to meet the Coalition's representatives in Istanbul.

Member of the National Coalition Samir Sawyer reasserted: "The demands of the Coalition will not change; any political solution in Syria should include the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the Coalition will not enter any negotiations unless we are sure Assad will not play any role in the transitional phase".

Coalition member Samir Nashar attributed the postponement of the Riyadh Conference to what he called "procedural reasons", following the recent administrative changes in Saudi Arabia, especially within the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

"The meeting between Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shukri, confirmed there is no disagreement between the two countries on the Yemeni and Syrian files, which would help in reaching a common view between the two sides on the Syrian issue, particularly on the fate of Assad", Nashar said.

Mr Nashar said that the decisions of the Cairo Conference were still unclear and that the Riyadh Conference may culminate in a gathering of all opposition forces to meet the challenges and work on a political solution, pointing out that efforts are also being made to reach an Arab-Turkish agreement on the Syrian issue.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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