US: Syria peace talks test credibility for parties

LARA JAKES and LORI HINNANT
Associated Press
View photos
US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, speaks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, at the US Ambassador residence in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. Kerry is in Paris to attend a two-day meeting on Syria to rally international support for ending the three-year civil war in Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

PARIS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says a meeting next week on peace for Syria is a credibility test for necessary participants who are threatening to skip it.

The fractured Syrian National Coalition is weighing whether to attend the Jan. 22 talks in Switzerland after being criticized for not fully representing dozens of opposition groups that seek to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.

The Coalition is the main moderate Western-backed opposition group.

Kerry was among envoys from 11 nations Sunday who urged coalition President Ahmad al-Jarba to ensure that his group will be at the talks.

Kerry called it "a test of credibility" and said he is confident the coalition will attend.

He also said the U.S. is looking restoring nonlethal aid to rebel fighters.