May 30, 2013
Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group says it will not take part in the upcoming US-Russian-sponsored conference aimed at finding a solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC), in comments delivered by its president George Sabra, claimed on Thursday that the talks, due to be held in Geneva next month, have no meaning in light of the ongoing bloodshed that the coalition blames on the Syrian government.
Russia and the United States agreed in Moscow on May 7 to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.
On May 26, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said that his country agrees “in principle” to attend the conference.
He noted that any deal reached at the conference will have to be put to a referendum in Syria.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government forces, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants fighting in Syria.
Several international human rights organizations have accused militants operating in Syria of committing war crimes.