The spokesman for a gathering of Syrian opposition groups says an international conference on the country's future later this month should focus on establishing a time-frame for an end to the fighting.

Yahya Al-Aridi told the Associated Press on Friday the peace talks "should not go (on) forever. There should be a time plan."

With the Syrian National Council, the main Western-backed opposition group, close to collapse and fighting between rebel groups reportedly killing hundreds, some 180 representatives of groups opposed to President Bashar Assad's government are meeting in Cordoba, southern Spain, to seek common ground.

The so-called Geneva conference on Syria is scheduled for Jan. 22.

Al-Aridi said peacemakers should "just focus on finding people who have differences but at the same time ... have one common goal."