September 22, 2013 / 8:39 AM / 4 years ago

Syrian opposition tells U.N. willing to attend Geneva conference

AMMAN, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The president of the opposition Syrian Coalition, Ahmad Jarba, said the group would attend a proposed Geneva conference to end two and a half years of conflict in Syria if it aims to establish a transitional government with full powers.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, obtained by Reuters and dated Sept. 19, Jarba said the coalition "reaffirms its willingness to engage in a future Geneva Conference" but "all parties must ... agree that the purpose of the conference will be the establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers" as stipulated by an agreement last year by international powers.

It was the first clear commitment by the Western- and Arab-backed coalition to attend the proposed conference sponsored by the United States and Russia. The coalition has been dithering on whether to attend, especially after a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of people in Damascus.

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