'Don't go to Geneva': Activists call for boycott of Syria talks
Activists opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came out against a fresh round of peace talks scheduled to begin in Geneva on Friday, with the future of the controversial negotiations up in the air.
The third round of talks in Geneva had been due to start on Monday, but was postponed after intense disagreement over which opposition groups should attend.
Turkey, a key opponent of Assad, has threatened to boycott the negotiations if the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) - which it considers an offshoot of the outlawed PKK - are invited.
For its part, Russia, which is fighting alongside Assad, has tried to ensure that its own list of politicians opposed to the Syrian government are invited.
A coalition of rebel groups formed in Riyadh last month and calling itself the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said it would decide on Wednesday whether to attend.
The coalition, composed of key rebel groups, had said it wanted Assad and his allies to halt air strikes and lift sieges before they would agree to join negotiations.
With the HNC’s participation hanging in the balance on Tuesday night, Syrian activists on social media began a campaign to express their opposition to the talks. Some complained that the terms of the talks were being set by the Syrian government and its allies Russia and Iran.