Solution to Syrian conflict through consensus: Jubeir


RIYADH — A Syrian opposition meeting began in Riyadh on Wednesday in a bid to unify the group’s position ahead of peace talks backed by the United Nations to end the country’s six-year civil war.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said his country will lend support to the Syrian opposition to come out unified from talks in Riyadh ahead of peace talks in Geneva.

“We will provide help and support for them in all that they need,” Jubeir told reporters after he attended the opening session of the Syrian opposition conference aimed at unifying their ranks ahead of peace talks in Geneva.

“We hope they can come out of the conference unified,” he added.

Jubeir told representatives of the Syrian opposition meeting that the only solution to the crisis in Syria was through a consensus that would achieve the demands of the Syrian people.

“There is no solution to the crisis without a Syrian consensus that would achieve the demands of the Syrian people on the basis of Geneva 1 and (UN Security Council) resolution 2254,” Jubeir said at the meeting.

UN peace talks mediator Staffan de Mistura urged the opposition figures to have the “hard discussions” necessary to reach a “common line”.

“A strong unified team is a creative partner in Geneva and we need that, one who can actually explore more than one way to arrive at the goals that we need to have,” he said in opening remarks.

Staffan de Mistura spoke at the opening of the three-day meeting for the Syrian opposition in Riyadh, where they are expected to come up with a unified delegation and vision ahead of the Geneva talks on Nov.28.

He also called for humanitarian assistance to reach besieged areas of Syria.

The expanded summit was opened to more than 140 opposition figures from the Turkey-based coalition and mainstream Free Syrian Army factions as well as independents including about a dozen women. — Agencies