Egypt's foreign minister says his country is hosting the second meeting of Syrian opposition this year in a bid to champion a political process amid an international and regional focus on a military solution to the conflict now in its fifth year.

Sameh Shoukry spoke Monday at the start of the two-day conference in Cairo that brought together Syrian opposition figures, mostly secularists and tribal leaders. Islamists groups and the myriad of armed opposition were not invited to the conference, which organizers say aims to find a formula on who governs Syria in the future, based on previous U.N.-sponsored talks.

Attempts to kick start political talks on Syria have stalled as the conflict, which began as 2011 protests against President Bashar Assad, has turned into a regional, sectarian war.