Main Syrian opposition groups to attend Geneva peace talks

The main, Western-backed Syrian opposition groups say they'll attend U.N.-sponsored peace talks with the Damascus government in Geneva starting on Monday.

The groups, assembled under an umbrella known as the High Negotiations Committee, said in a statement Friday that their participation comes in response to "sincere" international efforts to end Syria's five-year civil war

The HNC says its team in Geneva will press for a transitional governing body with full executive powers and a pluralist regime in which President Bashar Assad and his associates will have no role. The statement also insisted on Syria's unity and the restructuring of the country's security agencies.

The first round of Geneva talks collapsed on Feb. 3 during a wide government offensive against insurgents.

Syria's civil war has killed 250,000 people and displaced millions.