SILIVRI, Turkey (Reuters) – The main Syrian political opposition group in exile, the Syrian National Coalition, said it had agreed on Saturday to attend internationally sponsored peace talks beginning in Switzerland next week.
Syria remained the deadliest places for journalists to work on the job in 2013, while Iraq and Egypt saw an increase in fatal violence. More than half of the killings during 2013 took place in the Middle East.
In an extensive interview with Der Spiegel, Assad said he did not believe it was possible to solve the conflict in Syria through negotiations with the rebels, comments that might dampen hopes among Western powers for a political solution.
President Barack Obama will make clear on Tuesday that he wants to pursue a diplomatic path to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program in a U.N. General Assembly speech that will also cover events in Syria and the Middle East.