Saudi Summit to Unify, Prepare Syrian Opposition for Talks With Assad - DOS

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Syrian Arab Army's special operation in Douma, a Damascus suburb - Sputnik International
Saudi Arabia is hosting a summit to unify and prepare Syrian opposition figures for negotiations with President Bashar Assad’s government that will hopefully take place in early 2016, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Monday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States, Russia and other parties of the Vienna peace process, Kirby added, have already been discussing the idea of determining who the Syrian opposition is and what groups should be excluded.

"In the coming days, the Saudis will convene a conference whereby they will start to try to get at a set of common principles around which opposition groups can unify…to prepare for political discussions with the Assad regime, hopefully early next year," Kirby stated.

On Tuesday, Riyadh is scheduled to host Syria’s primary political opposition factions, including 20 members of the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition.

The meeting comes ahead of a January 1 deadline set last month by 20 regional powers in Vienna for talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups.

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