Syrian Peace Talks To Start In November

Originally published on October 20, 2013 1:50 pm

Negotiations to try to broker a political solution to Syria's bloody civil war will begin in Geneva on Nov. 23.

That's according to Arab League chief Nabil el-Araby, who spoke to reporters after meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria.

These meetings have been a long time coming, but until now have not materialized because at different points, the Syrian regime and the Syrian rebels have refused to come to the table.

It was just earlier this month, that the Syrian National Council, a key faction of the opposition, said it would not participate in the so-called Geneva II talks, because of what it said was the suffering on the ground.

Al Jazeera reports foreign ministers from Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States will meet with the Syrian opposition on Tuesday in London to try to lay the groundwork for Geneva II.

The network adds:

"Russia and Western nations are pushing for new talks between the Syrian regime and rebels on a negotiated solution to the conflict, which has killed more than 115,000 people since March 2011.

"But the opposition's Western and Arab backers are facing resistance from some among the rebels to attending the so-called Geneva 2 talks as long as Assad remains in power.

"The opposition coalition has agreed to attend the London conference, saying it would focus on 'these countries' understandings about Geneva 2 and what it should result in.'"

Meanwhile, the violence in Syria continued unabated. The BBC reports that 30 people were killed today by a suicide truck bombing in the city of Hama.

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