Assad regime to refuse ‘dictate’ at peace meet

AGENCIES arabnews
Thursday 16 May 2013

BEIRUT/DAMASCUS: The Syrian regime and its allies will refuse any “dictate” at an international peace conference, particularly concerning the departure of President Bashar Assad., a minister said.

“Syria will not accept any dictate and its friends will not accept it either,” Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad said in an interview with Syrian state television Al-Ikhbariya late Tuesday.

The Syrian opposition and several of its allies have repeatedly demanded the departure of Assad in order to end the bloody conflict roiling Syria for more than two years.

Syria’s key allies, Russia and Iran, has backed Damascus’s insistence that Assad’s departure is not on the table. Syrian Information Minister Omran Zohbi also said Assad’s departure was not up for discussion.

Syria is scheduled to hold presidential elections in 2014.

Last week in Moscow, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced plans for a new peace conference aimed at mapping a path toward a political transition in Syria and ending the bloody conflict now in its third year. The war in Syria has so far killed at least 94,000 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The conflict has also displaced 4.2 million people, while more than 1.2 million are staying as refugees outside of the country.

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Categories: Arab World, Asia, Syria

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