Saudi Talks on Syria Unhelpful

Saudi Talks on Syria Unhelpful

A senior diplomat said a meeting of Syrian opposition figures in Riyadh will make the Syrian peace talks fail among major western and Middle Eastern countries.
"The peace talks are an opportunity to find a political solution to end the war in Syria ... such meetings in Riyadh ... are aimed at harming the Vienna talks," Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Fars News Agency on Thursday.
"The meeting in Riyadh ... will cause the failure of Vienna peace talks on Syria and it is not part of Vienna agreement."
Saudi Arabia has invited 65 Syrian opposition figures to gather in Riyadh to try to bring together rival groups ahead of the next round of Syrian peace talks.
The first two rounds of the Syria peace talks were held in Vienna. In a November meeting on Syria in Vienna, participants agreed on a political process leading to elections in Syria within two years, but differences remained on key issues such as President Bashar al-Assad's fate.
"Only Syrian people should decide about their country's fate," said Amir-Abdollahian, echoing Iran's official stance.
The disunity among Syrian opposition has been a hurdle in seeking a peaceful solution to the Syrian war that has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced millions.


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