Qatar says opposes creation of opposition lists before Syria peace talks

Foreign Minister says it is more important to understand the logic behind why these groups take up arms
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah speak before delivering a press conference after their meeting regarding a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, on July 26, 2014, at the foreign ministry in Paris. Top diplomats from the US, Europe and the Middle East called Saturday for an extension to the temporary 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas currently in force in Gaza. We all call on parties to extend the humanitarian ceasefire, Frances Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters after a meeting in Paris with US Secretary of State John Kerry and their counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar and Turkey, as well as an EU representative. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Reuters
Sat 26 Dec 2015 02:57 PM

Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah has said he opposed the creation of lists of opposition before peace talks on Syria.

"We are against the absolute classification of groups. What is more important is to understand the logic behind why these groups took up arms, their aims and motives," he said at a news conference with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Friday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was crucial to ensure that the widest circle of opposition members take part in future talks to end Syria's civil war.

As with the question of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fate, diplomats say it will be extremely hard to reach consensus on a list of rebel groups to be excluded and legitimate members of an opposition who would participate in the negotiations.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Thursday during a visit to Beijing that Damascus was ready to take part in peace talks in Geneva and hoped that the dialogue would help it form a national unity government.

The U.N. Security Council on Dec. 18 unanimously approved a resolution endorsing an international road map for a Syrian peace process, a rare show of consensus among major powers on a conflict that has claimed over a quarter of a million lives.

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