Syrian government is ready for negotiations with the opposition,
including armed groups, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said while in
Moscow for talks.
The opposition is divided with rebels refusing to
talk until President Assad steps down.
are ready for dialogue with anyone who wants dialogue, including
those who are fighting with arms in their hands, because we are
confident that reforms cannot be carried out through bloodshed, but
through dialogue,” Muallem
said ahead of the talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey
The Syrian FM pointed out to Lavrov that there are
rebel fighters from some 30 foreign countries engaging in fighting in
Syria at the moment.
Jabhat al-Nusra, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, is involved in
main fighting in Syria. It invited fighters from 28 countries
including Chechnya,” he
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged Syrian government not to give in
to provocations by those who oppose a peaceful solution to the Syrian
crisis. “The number of the supporters of this realistic
line [peaceful solution] is increasing. Those who want to continue
the war feel it. They try to strangle positive tendencies among the
opposition and prevent steps towards the dialogue,” he
Lavrov reiterated that Russian position remains
unchanged as Moscow only seeks a peaceful outcome to the crisis.
al-Khatib, president of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, said he had
not yet been in contact with Damascus about any talks.
visit to Moscow is delayed now until we see how things
develop," Alkhatib told reporters in Cairo.
response from the opposition on the ground was categorical. There
could be no negotiations until President Bashar Assad steps down and
leaders of the army and security forces are put on trial, a Syrian
rebel leader was quoted by Al Arabiya Television.
will not go [into talks] unless these demands are
realized," Brigadier Selim Idris, head of a military
location of the possible talks is also contentious as the opposition
wants to hold negotiations abroad or on rebel-controlled territories,
while Damascus insists it should be conducted on Syrian territory
under government control.
official oppositional body, the Syrian National Coalition did not
take part in Moscow talks. Last week the coalition announced that it
would turn down the invitation to Moscow negotiations with the Syrian
government to protest the recent attack on the city of Aleppo.
30 people were killed in Aleppo in Friday as rockets hit residential
area. Activists reported hundreds of dead, but the information was
of Syria’ – no friends of opposition?
the attack on Aleppo the Syrian National Coalition also refused to
attend the meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria scheduled for
this Thursday in Rome.
The statement released by the coalition
said the international community "amounts to
participating in two years of killings" by staying
silent about "the crimes committed every day against our
This is despite the National Coalition's
leader Moaz al-Khatib saying earlier this month that he was ready to
meet with Syrian government to discuss an end to the violence.
initiative was strongly backed by international powers, including
Russia, and he was invited to Washington and Moscow. Now those visits
will not take place.
Reject Syrian Govt Calls for Negotiations
Assad's Immediate Resignation as Precondition
rebels have once again
angrily condemned offers for
negotiations with the Assad government, insisting that they would
never negotiate until Assad announced his immediate resignation,
adding that they believe he and other members of the regime are
“criminals and we will not negotiate with a criminal.”
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said that the government was ready
to negotiate without any precondition, and that they were even
willing to negotiate with armed factions, and indeed anyone else
willing to negotiate with them.
comments are a step forward for Syria’s government in agreeing to
negotiation, as previous offers have come with preconditions of a
ceasefire. The rebel position, which is to reject any talks, has not
rebels appear not to have an endgame that involves a negotiated
settlement, despite the apparent stalemate of the ongoing civil war.
Minor territorial gains are forever being reported, but the rebels
seem no closer to act