Syrian Opposition Figures Accept Saudi Invite to Attend Riyadh Conference

Syrian National Colaition will meet with other opposition factions in Riyadh in an effort to unify positions ahead of negotiations in Vienna this month

The Syrian National Coalition has accepted an invitation from Saudi Arabia to attend talks with opposition groups at the upcoming conference in Riyadh. The meeting will bring together Syrian political and military opposition factions by the middle of December in an effort to form a unified delegation before negotiations with the Assad regime in Vienna.

Coalition representative for Daraa governorate, Mohammed Qaddah, said the conference will be held on 11-13 December, pointing out that Saudi Arabia has invited twenty Coalition members, in addition to six other figures who had not been invited as members of the Coalition.

Qaddah added that six figures of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, headed by Hassan AbdulAzim, were also invited, in addition to 15 representatives of the largest armed opposition factions, including representatives of the Army of Islam, the Southern Front, Ajnad ash-Sham, al-Jabha ash-Shamiyah, in addition to four sheikhs. At least 20 other “national figures” were also invited, among them were Louay Hussein, Mona Ghanem and Jihad Makdissi.

Qaddah explained that it is likely the Coalition will choose its representatives from the members of the Political Committee and the General Committee, while the actual list of names to attend the conference in Riyadh has not yet been decided.

"Syrians have to cooperate to make the Riyadh conference reach its goals, because this conference will not be opposed by any party, except Iran and Russia," Qaddah said.

The Coalition member pointed out that some countries will likely announce their rejection of the conference because they have no interest in uniting the Syrian opposition.

Qaddah stressed that Coalition members have agreed that Riyadh is in the interest of the opposition, and that they will work to make it a success, adding that the conference will reveal those who do not want a united opposition.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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