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Opinion
Josh Rogin

Opposition Says Kerry Threatens Aid in Syrian Peace Effort

The U.S. is trying to bring all sides to the table.
John Kerry in Riyadh, trying to make diplomacy happen.

John Kerry in Riyadh, trying to make diplomacy happen.

Photographer: JACQUELYN MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State John Kerry told Syrian opposition leaders that they risked losing their funding if they did not attend peace talks, according to Syrian opposition leaders and administration officials.

On Saturday in Riyadh, Kerry met with representatives of the High Negotiating Commission, the opposition’s representatives to meet this week in Geneva with the Syrian regime. Afterward, opposition leaders faulted Kerry’s efforts, saying he had tried to “pressure” them into giving up longstanding demands. They have insisted that the Syrian dictatorship stop aerial bombardment and starvation sieges of civilian towns, before the opposition sits down with the regime.