Spain to host Syrian opposition leaders ahead of Geneva summit

PM announces talks in Córdoba, which are aimed at “bolstering dialogue” between groups

Spain will host a mini-summit of Syrian opposition groups early next month in Córdoba ahead of peace talks later in January in Geneva aimed at ending the three-year-old war in Syria, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Friday.

Speaking after a two-day summit of European leaders in Brussels, the Spanish prime minister explained that the talks, which will be held on January 9 and 10, will help the various groups coordinate strategies ahead of the so-called “Geneva 2” conference slated for January 22.

“The aim is to bolster dialogue between the groups and boost their cohesion ahead of Geneva 2,” Rajoy told reporters.

Nevertheless, the talks may be in jeopardy after senior opposition figures questioned on Friday whether they should go to Geneva now that the United States has issued warnings that it cannot guarantee Bashar al-Assad’s quick departure from power.

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