Syria opposition could meet within weeks: Spanish foreign minister
(Reuters) – Syrian opposition groups may meet again within four to six weeks, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said on Thursday.
A divided opposition movement has struggled to topple President Bashar al-Assad and U.S. President Barack Obama is facing pressure from world leaders not to launch military strikes in Syria.
“The most important is that, regardless of whether there is an intervention in Syria and who participates or doesn’t participate, the solution to the conflict will necessarily be political,” Garcia-Margallo said during a visit to Uruguay.
“We’re part of the Friends of Syria group. We’ve hosted two opposition meetings in Madrid, probably within a month or a month and half there will be another meeting,” he added.
The Friends of Syria group includes 11 Western and Arab countries opposed to Assad. Garcia-Margallo did not specify which opposition groups would attend the possible talks.
Attempts to organize a so-called “Geneva II” peace conference on Syria to revive a political transition plan agreed in the Swiss city in June 2012 have been futile and appear even more so after an alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus late last month.
Nearly 100,000 people have been killed in 2 1/2 years of war in Syria as Assad’s government troops battle an array of rebel forces.
“We’re betting on the political dialogue that began at Geneva I and we’re advocating that they meet again at Geneva II to seek a negotiated solution,” Garcia-Margallo added.