Spain to host 3rd meeting with representatives of Syria's opposition groups

Spain's prime minister says his government will host a meeting with representatives of Syria's moderate opposition next year in preparation for a peace conference to be held in Switzerland.

Speaking in Brussels at the European Council of Heads of State and Government, Mariano Rajoy said Friday the meeting will take place in the southern city of Cordoba on Jan. 9-10.

The meeting will be the third of its kind held in Spain with groups opposed to President Bashar Assad's government.

Spain's foreign affairs minister, Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, said the meeting would try to unify an "inclusive" and moderate opposition capable of maintaining contacts with Assad's regime in a bid to achieve a negotiated peace in Syria that also quells the fears of the country's Alawite minority.