First Published: 2013-05-30

 

Syria opposition to boycott Geneva summit: No talks in times of ‘invasion’

 

Main opposition group says it will not take part in peace talks as long as Iran-Hezbollah militias continue their invasion of Syria.

 

Middle East Online

‘Lives are more important than any political solution’

ISTANBUL - Syria's main opposition group said Thursday it will not take part in proposed US-Russia peace talks while key allies of President Bashar al-Assad's regime are waging war alongside government forces.

"The National Coalition will not take part in any international conference or any such efforts as long as the militias of Iran and Hezbollah continue their invasion of Syria," the opposition's acting chief George Sabra told reporters in Istanbul.

"Today, Syrians' lives are more important than any political solution or any international conference," Sabra added.

It has taken the divided opposition meeting in Istanbul a week to find common ground on the so-called Geneva 2 peace conference proposed by Moscow and Washington in hopes of ending more than two years of conflict estimated to have killed more than 94,000 people.

The group has previously said it was open in principle to any peace initiatives.

Sabra's comments follow Syrian army advances in areas where Lebanese Shiite militia group Hezbollah has joined troops loyal to Assad.

"In light of this savagery, any talk of an international conference or a political solution in Syria is just meaningless chatter," he said.

His statement came hours after the National Coalition launched an urgent appeal to rescue 1,000 wounded civilians from the town of Qusayr in central Syria.

Government troops and Hezbollah fighters have been battling for more than a week to retake Qusayr from rebel hands.

Rebel sources say the army has also made new advances east of Damascus in the past week, in a bid to crush the rebellion there.

Sabra said it was in the hands of the international community, "especially in the hands of (rebel backers) the Friends of Syria", to help stop an army advance on Qusayr and the Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus.

He called on the United Nations and the Arab League to "act immediately and seriously to stop... the continuous massacres".

"We cannot understand or accept that people are being killed in such a savage way while the international community is silent," Sabra added.

The Coalition's chief meanwhile reiterated a call to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman to stop Hezbollah from aiding Assad's troops.

"We remind the Lebanese president and the Lebanese people that a party with government and parliament representation is taking part in this ugly crime," said Sabra.

 

Algeria army hunts armed Islamist group in Kabylie region

Palestine to US: Israel to meet demands or we dismantle PA

Unprecedented aerial campaign targets Qaeda in Yemen

Saudi sentences five to death over 2003 Qaeda attacks

Syrian jihadists employ soccer as propaganda and recruitment tool

Three more Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen

Libya jihadists show video of pleading kidnapped hostage

Without proof, France fires new chemical accusations at Assad regime

Kuwait shuts two papers for breaking news blackout on 'coup tape'

Rouhani engages in sweet talk: Iran women not second class citizens

Involvement in violent protests sends Morsi supporters behind bars

Twitter seeks to end ‘war’ with Erdogan: Two ‘leak accounts’ blocked!

Drone strike kills at least 30 ‘Qaeda’ suspects in south Yemen

Suicide bomber targets Imam Kadhim University in Baghdad

Worse yet to come in South Sudan: Three-year-old nation on brink of collapse

Female candidates push rights issue to fore of Iraq election campaign

Assad visits Maalula to celebrate ‘victory’ and ‘Easter’

Islamists kill 11 soldiers in worst attack on Algeria army in years

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia