China to invite Asad regime and Syrian opposition for peace agreement

BEIJING: China has offered to host talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups as a step forward in the peace process. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday that China would invite representatives of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, as well as opposition groups that are not linked with extremist or terrorist activities to the talks. Wang made the announcement in New York, at the foreign ministers’ meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG). That same day, the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution based on ISSG negotiations outlining a rough plan for a peace process in Syria. Resolution 2254 calls for talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups to begin in early January, with a nationwide ceasefire to follow shortly thereafter. The resolution sets some ambitious timelines: a move to “credible, inclusive, and non-sectarian governance” within six months and “free and fair elections” to be held within 18 months.(The Diplomat)