The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) -- the main Western-backed rebel group battling to topple the government of Syria's Bashar Assad -- today (January 18, 2014) agreed to take part in peace talks in Switzerland next week, the World News website reports.
The group's legal committee approved participation in the talks -- scheduled to start on January 22 -- by a vote of 58 to 14.
The so-called "Geneva II" talks -- which are actually being held in Montreaux, Switzerland under the auspices of the United Nations -- were brokered by the United States and Russia. In the talks, SNC leaders would sit down for the first time with representatives from Syrian President Assad's government since the country's bloody civil war broke out in March, 2011.
The SNC -- which is riven with internal divisions -- is Syria's main opposition group in exile. The country's centrist internal opposition group -- the National Coordination Body -- said it would not attend the peace talks.