Syria rebels agree for peace talks without Assad
Dec 11, Riyadh: Syrian opposition groups say they are ready for UN-sponsored negotiations with representatives from the government, but insist that President Bashar al-Assad has to step down.
The meeting of opposition politicians and rebels in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh has produced a statement of principles to guide peace talks with the government.
They also stresses that President Bashar al-Assad and his aides could play no part in any transitional period, the statement said.
The statement issued at the end of two-day talks said, "The aim of the political settlement is to create a state based on the principle of citizenship without Bashar al-Assad or figures of his regime having a place in it or any future political arrangements."
It also added that, "Participants have insisted that Bashar al-Assad and his aides quit power with the start of the transition period."
Hosted by the Saudi Arabia, the unprecedented talks between more than 100 representatives from armed and political opposition groups tried to unite the factions fighting against the Syrian government in the bloody conflict which has seen more than 250,000 people killed, news reports said.
The groups said they are prepared to meet the government in the first 10 days of January.
The Oslo Times