Syrian Opposition Conference in Riyadh

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 10, 2015

We welcome the positive outcome of the gathering of the Syrian opposition in Riyadh today, including reaching a consensus on principles for a pluralistic and democratic Syria and on how to advance a political settlement to end the conflict in Syria.

As I conveyed to Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir today, we appreciate Saudi Arabia’s leadership in convening this broad and representative group of 116 participants, who agreed today on the structure of their negotiating body to represent them in the political process. We appreciate that this extremely diverse group of Syrians put aside differences in the interest of building a new Syria.

With the progress made in both Vienna and now in Riyadh, the International Syria Support Group continues to build a foundation for constructive negotiations in January under UN auspices, regarding a political transition in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012. While this important step forward brings us closer to starting negotiations between the Syrian parties, we recognize the difficult work ahead, and remain determined to continue toward a political settlement that brings an end the conflict.