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Syrian Opposition Leader Doubts Geneva Conference Success

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An international peace conference on Syria expected to be held in Geneva is unlikely to produce positive results, the leader of Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group said, the Saudi-owned news channel Al Arabiya reported on Sunday.

DUBAI, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – An international peace conference on Syria expected to be held in Geneva is unlikely to produce positive results, the leader of Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group said, the Saudi-owned news channel Al Arabiya reported on Sunday.

“I expect the meeting to take place but the question of whether it succeeds remains valid. I’m not too optimistic,” Syrian National Coalition leader Ahmad Jarba said in an exclusive interview with Al Arabia on Saturday.

The civil war in Syria may come to an end if a transitional government were formed following such a meeting, Jarba said, adding his coalition, considered to be the country’s main opposition group, supported a political solution to the crisis but Syrian President Bashar Assad’s resignation was non-negotiable.

“Seeking a political solution to the situation in Syria would mean achieving the objectives of this uprising, including the departure of Assad’s regime,” he said.

When asked if the Syrian National Coalition would accept a safe exit for Assad and his family, he answered this would be very difficult to do.

The Geneva II international peace conference on Syria with the participation of the conflicting sides in the Syrian civil war, and also influential regional countries, the United Nations and major world powers has been delayed several times now over disagreements between its potential participants on the key issues of its convocation.

The conference is designed to be a follow-up to last summer’s international meeting in Geneva that drafted a peace roadmap for Syria.

Some 100,000 people are believed to have died since fighting broke out between Syrian government forces and rebels in March 2011, according to the latest UN figures.

 

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