Saudi Gazette report
Riyadh — The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has invited all Syrian moderate opposition segments of various groups from ethnic, sectarian and political spectra inside and outside Syria to participate in an expanded meeting of the Syrian opposition in Riyadh on Dec. 8-10, a Foreign Ministry source said on Sunday.
The invitations were sent after consultations with most partners of the international influential parties and UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura.
The source said the Kingdom will provide all possible facilities to enable the Syrian opposition to conduct negotiations in an independent manner and come up with a united stance in accordance with the principles agreed upon in the ‘Geneva 1’ statement.
The source said the hosting of the meeting is based on the Kingdom’s support for solving the Syrian crisis politically, and based on the statement issued by the ‘Vienna 2’ conference of the international community to support Syria.
The invitations follow the request by the majority of the members of the ‘Vienna 2’ as well as the desire of the Syrian opposition of various segments, the source added.
Last Tuesday, Asharq Al-Awsat quoted Ahmad Ramadan, a member of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) opposition group, as saying that the Saudi Foreign Ministry had “invited 65 figures to attend the conference in Riyadh.
He said 20 members of the coalition, which is based outside Syria, had been invited, along with seven from the National Coordination Body, an internal opposition group.
Another 10 to 15 places were allocated to rebel leaders and 20 to 25 to independents, business leaders and religious figures, the paper quoted Ramadan as saying.