Syrian opposition sets new conditions on Geneva peace talks

BEIRUT: One of the major opposition groups in the Syrian war says it will only attend the imminent Geneva peace talks if the sieges in the country are lifted and other conditions are met.

In a statement released at the end of day-long meetings in Saudi Arabia late Tuesday, the Higher Negotiating Committee referred to the "necessity of realizing genuine improvements on the ground before starting in the negotiating process."

The Saudi-backed committee represents a coalition that includes the main political opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, and many of the major rebel factions fighting in Syria.

While the group left open the possibility of its eventual participation in the talks scheduled to begin Friday, it said it awaits a reply from the UN chief on its conditions.