Main Syrian opposition to join Geneva peace talks

A rebel fighter looks up from his hiding spot in the rebel-controlled area of Arbeen, on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus on January 29, 2016Syria’s largest mainstream opposition group said Friday that it would attend UN-led peace talks in Switzerland, easing fears that it would boycott a process aimed at ending the tangled civil war. The Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said it would “take part in the political process to test the seriousness of the other side through discussions with the UN team”, after four days of suspense over whether it would join. Despite Western pressure to attend, the HNC had previously said it would not take part in the Geneva talks without an agreement on relief reaching hundreds of thousands of people stuck in besieged Syrian towns.

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