U.S. continues to consult with Syrian opposition on Geneva II

The U.S. continues to closely consult with the leadership of the Syrian opposition to make sure its delegation will be properly represented in Geneva, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Tuesday during a daily press briefing in Washington. Psaki responded to a question about recent statements made by the leadership of the Syrian coalition saying they will boycott the Geneva II conference. She said U.S. representatives continue to meet with Syrian coalition officials to discuss a peace conference.

"Well, their statement certainly does not put the opposition any closer to the negotiated political process required for the possibility of peace," Psaki said. "We do continue to consult closely with the Syrian coalition leadership to ensure its delegation will be properly representative and inclusive."

When asked how Secretary of State John Kerry plans to discuss prospects for the Geneva II conference in detail when one entire party plans not to attend, Psaki said the U.S. will keep working toward a successful conference.

"You're absolutely correct that the participation of the opposition is a key component of a successful Geneva conference, but we're continuing to work toward that," Psaki said. "There have been many ups and downs in this process, and that's not unexpected given how challenging the situation is on the ground. But we continue to press for the opposition to have a representative body at the Geneva conference."