Syria peace talks threatened by the opposition not participating

There can be no peace conference on Syria if the opposition does not take part, according to UN-Arab League envoy Lakdar Brahimi.

Brahimi’s comments were made at a press conference in the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday as he tours the region trying to get support for the US and Russian-backed initiative.

With no confirmation the opposition will participate in talks meant to be held in Geneva, Brahimi said: “We hope to have one opposition delegation. This is much easier for the conference and for Syrians. But this issue will be discussed and agreed upon between the opposition itself and with us in the next few days.”

The opposition Syrian National Coalition says it will not be involved if President Bashar al-Assad remains in power.

The Syrian government has confirmed it will take part in the yet-to-be scheduled Geneva II.

International chemical weapons watchdog the OPCW says all of Syria’s declared equipment for producing, mixing and filling chemical weapons has been destroyed.

Inspectors have visited 21 out of 23 sites, not going to the remaining two for safety reasons.

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