Leaders are said to be making much progress at their talks in Vienna, on the political crisis in Syria.
The meeting, which has Iran attending for the first time, is aimed at closing the gap between the United States (US) and its allies, who support the rebels, and the key foreign allies of the Syrian government, which are Russia and Iran.
Both countries have recently stepped up their military involvement in the four year conflict in Syria, backing the Syria military forces.
But the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab Nations have long insisted that Mr. Assad cannot play a long-term role in Syria’s future.
Iran’s Foreign Minister said that other powers have realised that there was no way of reaching ‘a reasonable solution’ to the Syrian conflict, without involving Tehran.
Initial talks to resolve the Syrian crisis is set to open in Vienna. This meeting seeks to bridge the gap between the United States (US) and its allies.
Foreign powers backing rival sides in Syria’s civil war hope the meeting would also settle scores with those who support the rebels, and the key foreign allies of the Syrian government, Russia and Iran.
Iran is participating in the diplomatic talks for the first time.
United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has urged participants to show “flexibility” and “global leadership”.
The four-year-old war in Syria, which began with an uprising against Mr. Assad, has left 250,000 people dead and forced half the country’s population – or 11 million people – from their homes.
United Natons (UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has expressed “deep regret” over Indonesia’s execution of eight people convicted of drug offences.
The seven foreigners and one Indonesian were executed by firing squad on Wednesday, causing diplomatic fury.
In a statement, the Secretary said that the death penalty had “no place in the 21st Century”, urging Indonesia to spare all other death row prisoners.
Indonesia has firmly defended its actions as part of its “war on drugs”.
The Indonesian Attorney-General, Prasetyo had earlier said that “Execution is not a pleasant thing. It is not a fun job, but we must do it in order to save the nation from the danger of drugs.”
Among the executed prisoners were two Australian men – Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, one Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, one Indonesian and four Nigerians – Martin Anderson, Okwudili Oyatanze, Jaminu Abashin and Sylvester Obiekwe, all convicted of drug smuggling.
Australia has recalled its ambassador in protest.
Mr Abbott on Wednesday described the treatment of the Australians as “cruel and unnecessary”, calling it a “dark moment” in Australia’s relationship with Indonesia.
“We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual,” he said.
The Nigerian government has asked the Indonesian Government for the repatriation of the remains of executed Nigerians, in order to be accorded decent burial in their various communities.