Around 250 members of the Syrian opposition are meeting in Cairo for talks on a political transition plan backed by the United Nations, Russia, and the United States.
Representatives of France, Tunisia, and Turkey have also been invited to the two-day conference sponsored by the Arab League.
However, the Free Syrian Army, whose fighters are battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has denounced the meeting, calling it a "conspiracy" that serves the policy goals of the Syrian regime's allies in Russia and Iran.
In a bid to halt the violence convulsing Syria, world powers meeting in Geneva on June 30 suggested the formation of a transitional unity government that could include members of both the Assad regime and the opposition.
Opposition figures have denounced the plan as a mockery.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa