PARIS Nations involved in the Syrian peace approach are set to meet in New York on Dec. 18 but the talks may hinge on efforts to unite Syrian opposition groups in the coming days, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned on Tuesday.
Russia, the United States, European and Middle Eastern nations agreed final month on a two-year timeline top to Syrian national elections, but left several concerns unresolved, most notably the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The countries involved in the talks, which also consist of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey, laid out a plan which includes formal talks in between the government and opposition from Jan. 1.
To achieve that timeline, Saudi Arabia is hosting a conference this week to attempt to unite Syria’s divided rebel and opposition groups, who are attempting to forge a typical platform to be in a position to negotiate with the Syrian government.
“Based on the outcome of each the Saudi-led conference of the opposition that is taking spot in the next days, as properly as a few other troubles, it is our strategy to attempt … (to) have a meeting in New York on December 18,” Kerry said.
“But once more, it depends on the flow of events more than the next week,” he told reporters right after meeting U.N. Secretary Basic Ban Ki-moon at the climate adjust talks at Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris.
A crucial concern for a ceasefire will be determining which groups fighting Assad will be branded moderate opposition fighters deserving of a seat at the negotiating table and which will be labeled terrorists.
Opposition groups deemed reputable will be invited to take part in the ceasefire although those labeled terrorists, so far Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked groups, will be treated as fair game for Syrian government forces, Russia, the United States, France and other folks conducting air strikes in Syria.
“It is completely necessary that as was agreed in Vienna, there ought to be a nationwide ceasefire as quickly as feasible,” Ban stated. “In New York I hope we will have a firm and strong basis so that the ceasefire can be launched as nicely as the political approach.”
(Writing by John Irish editing by Andrew Callus and Estelle Shirbon)