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Syrian Opposition Coalition Arrives in Riyadh | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Syria’s High Negotiations Committee attends a meeting with the UN Syria envoy during Syria peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017. (Reuters)

Riyadh – The Syrian National Coalition for Opposition (SNC), chaired by Riad Seif, arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for talks with Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on various issues related to the Syrian crisis.

A few days earlier, Saudi Arabia reiterated its position on the Syrian war and its commitment to the Geneva 1 outcomes as a basis for a solution that ensures regime head Bashar al-Assad does not remain in power.

Member of the political committee of the SNC Hadi al-Bahra said that the meeting with Jubeir was scheduled a while ago, hinting that it had nothing to do with the minister’s recent statements, which were later denied by the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

Bahra told Asharq Al-Awsat that the agenda of the meeting will cover recent political developments in Syria, including the issue of the de-escalation zones.

He added that the meeting with Jubeir is not linked to the expanded meeting scheduled in mid-August between Syria’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Moscow and Cairo and hosted by Riyadh.

So far, it has not been confirmed whether representatives of the Syrian opposition who participated in Cairo and Moscow conferences will attend the Riyadh talks.

Bahra said that HNC sent separate invitations to Cairo and Moscow, but he did not confirm if they received official responses.

The HNC hopes that the anticipated Riyadh meeting will unite positions on Assad leaving power.

Bahra admitted that Syrian opposition has a lot to achieve, especially regarding the Geneva talks, adding that there are serious attempts to come out with united positions.

“The foundation of the cause is to have united positions on all issues that ensure the success of the Geneva conference,” he added.

Bahra reiterated that the HNC intends to continue with the political negotiations dealing with the core of the Syrian crisis, which is the political transition. He stressed that it does not want to repeat the mistakes committed in Yemen and other areas.

“Everyone knows the foundations of a successful political transition and how to proceed. So, we must deal with all international changes, while making sure no more time is wasted,” he explained.

Bahra stressed that Assad’s departure is one of the main conditions of the political transition.