October 21, 2013

Arab League sets Syria talks on Nov. 23

The Syrian Army has responded to a large attack on the Central Prison and Army checkpoints in Idleb, killing 400 Armed Guerrillas
The head of Arab League said on Sunday that an international conference on ending Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people, is planned for Nov. 23 in Geneva, according to media reports.

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby made the announcement at the group’s headquarters in Cairo, the Associated Press reported. The League’s U.N. envoy to Syria said the date hasn’t been finalized because the talks won’t be held “without a credible opposition.”

The talks have been postponed repeatedly despite the U.S. and Russia efforts to bring the Damascus government and Syria’s divided opposition faction to the negotiating table, AP reported, adding the delays were in part because of fundamental disagreements over the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.

The international efforts to convene the conference, dubbed “Geneva 2,” started again after a deal last month was reached for Syria to get rid of its chemical weapons arsenal, Reuters reported. That deal was brokered by Russia after the U.S. and other nations threatened to bomb Assad strongholds in retaliation for the government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. There have been claims that some rebel groups also have used chemical weapons.

As date of the possible peace conference was announced on Sunday, Syrian rebels drove an explosives-laden truck into a government checkpoint on the outskirts of the central city of Hama, killing at least 30 people, AP reported, citing the state news agency SANA.

AP quoted the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and said the al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra was behind the attack.

#Arab #League #Syria 

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