The main opposition group of Syria decided to join peace negotiations on the country in the last minute, and was part of talks in Geneva that began on Friday. United States Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the move by the High Negotiations Committee, which comprises military and political opponents of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. The group had refused to attend talks unless air strikes in Syria were stopped and some prisoners were released.

United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura said the Syrian government and opposition would be in separate rooms during the talks. The HNC said its engagement in the peace process would initially be limited, Reuters reported. HNC said it had drawn up a list of 3,000 Syrian women and children in government prisons whom they wanted released. The group’s delegation will join talks in Geneva on Sunday.