16-08-2017 08:13 PM Jerusalem Timing

Arab FMs Press Syria Opposition over Attending Geneva 2

Arab FMs Press Syria Opposition over Attending Geneva 2

Arab League foreign ministers gathered in Cairo on Sunday to push the Syrian opposition to attend the proposed Geneva II peace conference.

Arab League foreign ministers gathered in Cairo on Sunday to push the Syrian opposition to attend the proposed Geneva II peace conference.

In comments broadcast live on Egyptian state television,   Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said that the extraordinary meArab Leagueeting of the ministers aimed to "encourage" the Syrian opposition to attend the Geneva II talks.

"The ministers are asked today to provide all the support to the (opposition Syrian) National Coalition in order to encourage it to participate in Geneva II," Arabi said.
Syria's opposition has refused to attend unless President Bashar al-Assad's resignation is on the table -- a demand rejected by Damascus.

Some opposition groups fighting the Syrian government have also warned that participants would be considered ‘traitors.’

For his part, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah welcomed the proposed talks, but appealed to his Arab League counterparts to "reach a common position concerning the negotiation process" so that "the Syrian regime will not be given another chance to play with the blood of the Syrian people".

The so-called Syrian National Coalition has said it plans to meet on November 9 to decide whether to attend, but the Syrian National Council, a key member of the bloc, has threatened to quit if it does so.

Meanwhile, the head of the National Coalition, Ahmad al-Jarba, urged the League to "take a clear decision on the delivery of weapons” to the opposition armed groups, adding "we are ready to provide all the guarantees that they would not fall into wrong hands".

Several countries have expressed fears that extremists have seized weapons intended for militants fighting the Syrian government.