Some 200 critics of President Bashar Assad’s regime are gathering in the Syrian capital for the first time since the start of the three-month uprising against his family’s rule.

Monday’s meeting, which was approved by authorities, is to discuss strategies for a peaceful transition to democracy.

But it has been denounced by some activists and opposition figures who say it bestows legitimacy on the regime while the security crackdown continues.

Participants say no government representatives were invited to the Damascus meeting.

The opposition says some 1,400 people have been killed — most of them unarmed protesters — during the government crackdown on months of street protests.

Keywords: Syria uprising

More In: International | News