Syrian National Coalition Agrees to Participate in Geneva Talks

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The Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition to Bashar al-Assad's regime, has agreed to participate in talks in Geneva concerning the ongoing civil war in the country. Since its formation a year ago, the coalition is currently the opposition group with most prominent backing from Western countries, including the United States.

The group agreed to attend the talks, sponsored by the U.S. and Russia, if certain conditions are met.

On Monday, the coalition's statement said there must be a guarantee that relief agencies would be allowed access to besieged areas, the release of political prisoners and any political conference should result in a political transition, the statement said.

Other rebel groups agreed that the talks must result in the end of Assad's reign, while other said that "they would charge anyone who attended the planned international talks with treason."

The coalition's statement made clear that, "Bashar Assad will have no role in the transitional period and the future of Syria."

The talks are hopefully aiming to happen by the end of November, but various factors may impede them, including a lack of cohesion between American and Russian diplomats and internal conflict in Syrian rebel groups. Back in October, the Syrian National Council said that it would leave the coalition if they attended the talks.

[Pictured: Ahmad Jarba, head of the Syrian National Coalition, on Nov. 2, 2013]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.