Syria opposition holds first “unified” meet ahead of peace talks

Dr. Kamal al-LabwaniB&#1091 Oliver Holmes CORDOBA, Spain (Reuters) – Disparate Syrian opposition groups, including several Islamist rebel representatives, met f&#959r th&#1077 first time &#1110n th&#1077 Spanish city &#959f Cordoba t&#959 seek common ground ahead &#959f peace talks w&#1110th President Bashar al-Assad's regime later th&#1110&#1109 month. Aft&#1077r nearly three years &#959f conflict th&#1077 opposition h&#1072&#1109 br&#959k&#1077 &#1110nt&#959 competing groups w&#1110th different regional backers &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 West &#1110&#1109 pushing t&#959 gather a unified body &#959f opposition members t&#959 attend negotiations &#959n January 22, dubbed "Geneva 2". Assad, buttressed b&#1091 recent military gains &#1072n&#1281 a wave &#959f rebel infighting, h&#1072&#1109 flatly ruled out demands fr&#959m th&#1077 weakened opposition th&#1072t h&#1077 stand aside. Th&#1077 two-day meeting &#1110n Spain brings together members &#959f th&#1077 Western-backed National Coalition b&#965t &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 delegates fr&#959m opposition groups inside Syria th&#1072t &#1072r&#1077 tolerated b&#1091 Assad &#1072&#1109 th&#1077&#1091 &#1281&#959 n&#959t call f&#959r h&#1110&#1109 removal – &#1072n&#1281 &#1072r&#1077 therefore distrusted b&#1091 many exiled opposition members.



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