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Little consensus ahead of Syrian peace talks

Source: Reuters - Thu, 9 Jan 2014 21:13 PM
Author: Reuters
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It was all smiles as members of the Syrian opposition pose for a class photo as they meet in Spain.

After close to nearly three years of war the opposition has fractured into competing groups with different regional backers.

The West is seeking a unified body of opposition members to attend the so-called "Geneva 2" peace talks later this month aimed at ending the war.

As disparate groups met in Spain they found little common cause.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER, JOSE MANUEL GARCIA MARGALLO, SAYING:

"I have ascertained as I have in past meetings both in Spain and abroad that there isn't a unanimous position for the Geneva conference of January 22."

In Damascus as demonstrators gather outside the UN office decrying the lack of action over the course of the conflict, another opposition leader weighs in.

Louay Hussein who heads the Building the State of Opposition Party, wonders who will speak for the Syrian people in Geneva.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF BUILDING THE STATE OPPOSITION PARTY, LOUAY HUSSEIN, SAYING:

"Russia adopts the regime's delegation and the United States adopts the opposition one. Syrians have got to have a delegation because those two delegations do not represent Syrians at all. Neither the regime, nor the opposition represent or express Syrians interests. Those two parties, behind which there are Russia and the United States, will go to share parts in the upcoming government and not maintain Syrians interests."

As the opposition debates the war rages on.

More than 100,000 people have died in the conflict with few prospects for peace on the horizon.

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