Syrian opposition group aims to attend peace talks

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By DESMOND BUTLER, Associated Press

ISTANBUL (AP) — The main Western-backed Syrian opposition group says it intends to join peace talks with the Syrian government, if conditions are met.

After a vote early Monday in Istanbul, the Syrian National Coalition agreed to attend a proposed peace conference with President Bashar Assad's government. The U.S. and Russia are trying to convene the talks in Geneva by the end of this year.

But according to a coalition statement, the group says representatives would attend only if the Syrian government allowed the creation of humanitarian corridors to reach besieged areas and if it released detainees, especially woman and children.

Excerpts of the statement were released by the office of Monzer Azbik, who is chief of staff to coalition chief Ahmad al-Jarba.

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