Syrian opposition calls for goodwill measures

In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 file photo, Free Syrian Army rebels hold a revolutionary flag during a demonstration in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria.

In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 file photo, Free Syrian Army rebels hold a revolutionary flag during a demonstration in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria.


Syrian opposition groups on Thursday called on the United Nations to press the government of President Bashar al-Assad to take confidence building measures ahead of proposed peace talks, Saudi state news agency SPA said.

“These include suspending death sentences against Syrians convicted on charges of opposition the regime, releasing prisoners and detainees, lifting sieges on besieged areas and allowing humanitarian convoys to reach the needy,” SPA said, quoting a statement issued at the end of the two-day meeting in Riyadh.

The group also called for an all-inclusive, democratic Syria and said Assad should leave power at the start of a transitional period.

The participants at the Riyadh meeting backed a “democratic mechanism through a pluralistic regime that represents all sectors of the Syrian people,” the statement said.

This would include women and would not discriminate on religious, sectarian or ethic grounds, it added. The participants also committed to preserving Syria’s state institutions and restructuring the army and security services.


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