Saudi to host Syrian rebel meeting

syrian-rebels-islamistsIn an effort to convince Syrian rebels, Saudi Arabia will host a meeting of Syrian rebel groups in Riyadh from December 8th to 10th , said the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.

The conference is an attempt to bring together both armed and political factions in a common ground to negotiate with the government.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent an invitation to all the moderate portions of the Syrian opposition of different types and trends, and from its ethnic, sectarian and political spectrum inside and outside Syria,” Saudi Press Agency reported, citing an official source at the foreign ministry.

Saudi Arabia invited all rebel groups excluding the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate. The Riyadh conference is expected to bring about 150 political and armed groups, including the Jaysh al- Islam and Ahrar al-sham. The Representatives of the Free Syrian Army will also be there. Because of Turkish objections,key Kurdish groups are not invited to the conference.

World powers to meet in Vienna wants formal talks between the Syrian government and opposition parties to be begins in January. Iran, however, which is taking part in the Vienna talks and strongest supporter of Bashar al-Assad regime has warned that the meeting in Riyadh could cause the talks to fail.

US State Secretary John Kerry said the next round of talks on the crisis would begin in New York next week.