UK, US pressure Syria opposition to attend talks

UK and the US were adamant the group must go to Geneva for next week's talks.

UK, US pressure Syria opposition to attend talks

World Bulletin/News Desk

Britain and the US have warned they will rethink support for Syria's main opposition group if it fails to join peace talks, a Syrian source has said.

The official from the Syrian National Coalition told reporters that the UK and the US were adamant the group must go to Geneva for next week's talks, BBC reported.

The coalition will hold a vote on Friday on whether or not to attend.

Syria's opposition remains deeply divided nearly three years after the uprising began.

BBC says, in public, the British government maintains it will not abandon the Syrian National Council, but it is clear that persuading the opposition to agree to come face to face with President Bashar al-Assad's government is proving incredibly difficult.

According to BBC, Syrian source sais "The US and UK are telling us you need to go to Geneva. They are making it very clear that they will not continue to support us the way they are doing now and that we will lose credibility with the international community if we do not go."

He said that other foreign backers were not applying the same pressure.

"France is asking us to go but saying that we are with you whatever your decision. That is the same as the Saudi and Turkish stance - [they say] we prefer for you to go to Geneva, but if you do not or it does not work, we will not abandon you."

The official said political support from Washington and London was important to the coalition and its withdrawal would make a difference, BBC reports.

However he also questioned whether such a threat was credible.

Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2014, 15:00
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