Syria Says to Attend Geneva but Won't Hand over Power

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Syria will send delegates to a Geneva peace conference under President Bashar Assad's orders, but his grip over the war-torn country will not be under discussion, an official said Wednesday.

The announcement was immediately condemned by Syria's opposition, which restated its demand that the talks, dubbed Geneva 2, must lead to a political transition that excludes any role for Assad.

Despite the dim prospects for peace with both sides refusing to compromise, Iran said it and Turkey, which support opposing sides in the war, would press for a ceasefire ahead of the talks.

The January 22 peace conference is aimed at ending the nearly three-year-old civil war, a bloody stalemate which has killed an estimated 120,000 people and driven millions from their homes.

"Syria announces the participation of an official delegation under the orders of (Assad) and the demands of the Syrian people, with the top priority eliminating terrorism," said a foreign ministry source quoted by state media.

The source also said the delegation was not going to Geneva to hand over power, and that the condition stipulated by Syria's opposition and the West that Assad must not have a role in the country's future was out of the question.

"Our people will not allow anyone to steal their right to choose their future and their leaders, and what is key about Geneva is to assert the Syrians' rights, and not of those who are spilling the people's blood."

The source criticized "the French, British and other foreign ministries as well as their agents in the Arab world who have insisted that there can be no place for President Assad in the transitional period.

"The ministry reminds them that the age of colonialism is over, and they need to wake up."

The main opposition National Coalition dismissed the announcement as "a pretense of cooperation with the international community as a cover to continue its war on the Syrian people".

"The regime claims that the demand for the end of the Assad regime is a colonialist policy of the West. The truth is that it is the Syrian people who are demanding his removal," said the statement issued by the office of Coalition president Ahmad Jarba.

The Coalition reiterated its demand that Geneva 2 must lead to the creation of a "transitional governing body" with "full executive powers" that excludes Assad "and those associated with him".

Iran, Turkey call for ceasefire

Iran, the Assad regime's most powerful regional backer, said that both it and Turkey, which supports the opposition, would press for a ceasefire in Syria ahead of the planned peace talks.

"All our efforts should be carried out to finish the conflict and reach a ceasefire even before Geneva 2," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at a news conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.

Ceasefires have been announced before, notably around Muslim holidays, but none has ever held up despite pledges of commitment by both sides.

Even amid the talk of a peace conference, neither side seems willing to stop fighting.

While the opposition Coalition enjoys Western support, it is unclear how much control it has over the hundreds of rebel groups fighting on the ground.

A newly formed rebel alliance said Tuesday it wants to replace Syria's regime with an Islamic state.

In its charter, the Islamic Front also said the only way to bring about its objective to bring down Assad was through "military rebellion".

Nikolaos Van Dam, an expert on Syria, said Geneva 2 could be "a first step towards reaching an armistice," but warned the prospects for ending the war would be "bleak" if the regime and rebels kept fighting during the conference.

"The opposition wants to negotiate on condition that they get an advance commitment that they achieve the aim they would be negotiating for," Van Dam said in an email to AFP.

But he added Assad was "not going to negotiate about his own removal from power, (certainly not as long as he is the stronger party). You cannot expect him to sign his own death warrant."

On the ground, fighting raged on key fronts, especially near Damascus, where rebels launched a major offensive aimed at breaking a year-long, suffocating army siege on opposition-held areas.

Comments 57
Thumb FlameCatcher 27 November 2013, 14:01

Well, considering Bashar has reprimended one of his ministers for "talking" to foreign officials without his approval. He makes it a point to let it known that this delegation has his blessing...

Regarding the wording of AFP, this is a "press release" agency which mostly copy pastes statements.

They have quoted the statement including "under the orders of Assad" so this is not AFP's work... this is how Syria communicates.

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 15:04

Bashar al assad is a good and intelligent President, Syria will be a landfill without him. So all you good primitive Al Qaeda or Western supporters please. Just backoff now, enough people have died your so called "Revolution" has ended nobody wants to hear about it anymore.

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 16:28

Bachar al assad is a stupid criminal. Wether or not he wins today, he will join the dustbin of history with Hitler and Staline.

Bachar CREATED fath el islam tp destabilize lebanon. He played with fundamentalists until his stupid giraffe fingers got burned.

Bachar systematically killed every patriotic leader in lebanon. Leaving us thieves such as nabih berri and adnane mansour to rule us.

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 16:45

lol Lebanon_first, you accuse but you have no facts or documentations that backs your statements. Just drop your pro American/wahabi theories for the best of all Lebanon please.

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 16:56

Only stupid person i see here is you Lebanon_first, i think you should change name to Saudi Sharia first.

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 17:26


You spray the words wahabi and sharia here and there, thinking that makes you look smart, you even allow your little person to insult me because of my opinion.

There are tons of documentation that back my statements, do your research on the internet. If it is too difficult for your single neurone brain, just google "michel samaha mamlouk", maybe you will understand better. Or maybe not.

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 17:30

@Saudi_first if you really are so low to feel offended by a guy chatting with you on the internet, that proves how immature you are, i don't agree with your views because they are utter lies mate. If you came with real facts then we could have a debate, but when you start saying stupid things such as giraffi and hitler then i see you are below the limit.

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 18:10

Toni. The little person calling himself "Mysic" is trying to forge himself a personality by talking to the big boys in big boys forums. Dont be too tough on him, he is the brainchild of single sided assadist propaganda. Eventually he will grow out of it and become a normal human being.

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:15

Haha "Big boys" How did you make that up mate? You watched a little too many American action movies with Tony, so now you guys are tough because you make posts on Naharnet? Hhhhhhhhh i'm laughing big time :D

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:02

-tony montana you belong in a pile of American genocidal BS :D

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:02

Oh you really think that will happen anytime soon? Isn't that what you westernes said 3 years ago? Oops i forgot that it never happened and never will ;)

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:54

I know that it didn't happen to your liking tony, btw the chemical weapons was a good move, because Assad doesn't need them he got much better and more advanced weaponry now from Russia. Btw if Russia gave the greenlight USA would have bombed, but Russia knocked on the table, and then your fellow americans backed off for good :) Scared of the big Russian bear are we?

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 20:35

Lol ok, so we M8ers can't say you are pro Wahabi, but you can say we are filthy iranian thugs. I think you guys are a little double standard.

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 20:46

lol not just you my dear american, we all know what your intentions is :)

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 15:08

@IbnAljabal Only BS is everything you just said, so what do you think is better than Bashar? Let's say he got toppled as all you dear people wished for 3 years that never happend. You rather want Al Qaeda to take over instead?

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 16:05

You mean people dreaming of Gran Syria under SSNP and baathist rule? those lowlives who dont hide their nonrespect of Lebanon's entitiy

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 16:24

Southern, from 1992 to 2005, the hariri years, KSA was the strongest party in lebanon. Did you see a jihadist project? I didnt. All I saw from Saudi was tourists, spending, infrastructure gifts, and 1 Billion dollar support for the lebanese pound when israel bombed.
Did I miss something?

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 16:43


Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 17:19

lebanon_first: yes, rafic would have never let them go ahead with their takfiri and fitna plans, and i believe this is why they had him killed. with him alive sunni/shia strife and islamic extremism in lebanon would have been inconceivable.

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 17:28

Good point mowaten

But you think that changed now? Why?

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 18:29

FT. You have a point. But you are pinning the blame on Khalijis while the real ennemy here is globalization, not khalijis.

Khalijis 3aychin ma3na wou baleina. It is the ultracommercial lebanese who decided to enrich themselves and look for business opportunities everywhere.

Also the disfigurement of downtown Beirut is a symptom of globalization. Beirut was disfigured partly because All these "brand" shops that cater to an elite have opened in downtown, while the same can be said about shopping malls. It is a globalization problem not a khalijee problem.

Taef is the materialization of the defeat of christians in the lebanese civil war, and the victory of Syria. It is a very bad accord because the best garantee for lebanon is a strong christian president which Taef cancelled.

My point is that the Lebanon of the 70s that you moan was not destroyed singlehandedly by khalijees. It was destroyed by lebanese commercialism, Assad, Globalization and the khalijees.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 19:57

hello Roar
well i dont really like to make predictions like this, because so many things can happen and change the course of events, but for the moment it seems pretty Assad isnt going anywhere and the conspiracy against Syria has failed.
Saudis are a bit int he cornered rat position, though, and this can be dangerous. With the failure in Syria, and being snubbed by the rest of the world when they made the deal with Iran, Saudis are going to want to bite even if just out of spite (they are probably behind the Iranian embassy bombing for that reason).
I dont think Turkey will go after Saudi though, they dont have any strong enough reason to want to pick any serious fight with them, they are probably just thinking about what they're going to do with the leftover residues of takfiris and mercenaries on their border with Syria..

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 19:59

lebanon_first: i didnt really understand what you meant...

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 20:02

"My point is that the Lebanon of the 70s that you moan was not destroyed singlehandedly by khalijees. It was destroyed by lebanese commercialism, Assad, Globalization and the khalijees."

you forgot the two biggest factors! what about israel and palestinians? at that time the khalijees were not really in the game. they started being involved in the late 80s, with rafic hariri as their peace envoy negotiating several accords being lebanese rivals

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 20:07

and most significantly, he always came with suitcases full of cash to "negotiate" those accords...
that's probably when they started realizing how much influence they could gain with those suitcases.

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 22:10


I was not refering to lebanon of the 70s and the civil war.

I was referring to FT moaning that lebanon changed and never returned to the original way he has in his mind. And I argued that the changes are due to globalization, not to khalijees.

Thumb FlameCatcher 27 November 2013, 23:38

@FT: yes, a consummate, systematic and thorough drainage of lebanese productive brains

How in your small brain do you link this to a Saudi Jihadist project ?

The only reason Lebanese flee to the gulf is to provide their families a better income and safe environment to prosper. They would give it all up in a minute if they could hav this at home.

I don't see hem fleeing to Iran though ! Can you explain why all (Shiite included) choose the gulf, Africa or the west ?

Hezbollah's weapons are the reason there is no stability in Lebanon, no safety, no tourists, no investors creating jobs.

In fact, name me one economical advantage Hezbollah is bringing to Lebanon ?

You are a true Aounie living a idiotic and paranoid illusion built for you by Aoun. A person who comes up with the stupidest understanding of the situation as dictated by a psychotic leader.

Thumb FlameCatcher 27 November 2013, 23:42

PS : Hezbolah itself is not a jihadist project ? Hassan uses the word all the time !

Thumb lebanon_first 28 November 2013, 15:27

You are answering pretty aggressively for a mundane discussion... pls tone it down a notch.

You are bemoaning that lebanon did not become what you imagine it should have become have the khalijees not "subtly waged their money war, post taef".

How do you imagine Lebanon should have become without these khalijees "subtle war"?

Thumb lebanon_first 28 November 2013, 15:32

Because I think that you are trying to blame others while in reality the Lebanese are to blame if there is a blame.

For some reason you geared your mind to find fault exclusively in khalijee related stuff such as wahabis, sunnites, mustakbal, petrodollars.
And you absolve all other parties, whether lebanese or farsis of any responsability for our situation.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 16:27

yes ibn al jabal, you really understood it well, there's no fooling you, not with your two neurons still firmly attached together.

Thumb _mowaten_ 28 November 2013, 13:13

lol, all one has to do is count the number of insults you used in this article alone. you're not fooling anyone but yourself.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 16:29

FT: no i think it was intentional by SANA to really hammer the point that any negotiations will be done under Bashar Assad's authority, because the nameless bunch of bozos from the SNC had "demanded" (lol) Bashar's departure as precondition, hoping they would negotiate with someone else.

Thumb lebanon_first 27 November 2013, 16:31

God helps the moderates in Syria. Stuck between the neostalinist Assadist criminals and the medieval ISIL...

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 16:47

there is no such thing as moderate rebels, they are all under the Al Qaeda islamist wing now, read the media. And no i didn't say read Al Manar, i say read Western media! Even they admit it by now

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:12

Loool atleast they act and don't talk the talk my friend ;)

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 16:55

Start acting civilized banisitzeinab. We are not in one of your Saudi Mosques

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 17:49

The millions of moderate sunnis, shia, Christians druze, and rest of the minorities will vote for him, they are sick and tired of Al Qaedas war. Not anything you American stooges would know anything about, because as we all know, people like you tonyfarris would rather see Syria be burned forever.

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 17:53

I rather be supporting Syria, than painting our beloved flag with American colors such as you, my dear american boy. Good thing you are out of Leb

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 17:54

Destroying our cedre like that, you shouldn't consider yourself Lebanese "DUDE"

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:11

Haha cry my baby american boy, lets go protest for the second amendment ;D How many guns do you have tony?

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:14

Loool atleast they act and don't talk the talk my friend ;)

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:22

Oh i'm so scared, i forgot the fact that you probaly don't even live in Lebanon. And even if you do, we all been in the army ;)

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 18:47

Tonyfarris if you really are a christian, you should watch the video i send you.

Missing helicopter 27 November 2013, 19:25

Syria will send delegates to a Geneva peace conference under President Bashar Assad's orders, but his grip over the war-torn country will not be under discussion..............
A stark reminder of HA calling for National Dialogue but their weapons and telecommunication network will not be under discussion.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 19:31

i think you post much more than me about syria, just see you gazillion comments above.
i post a lot more about lebanon than i do about syria, but you wouldnt notice because you're not interested in lebanese news.

Missing zahle_nights8 27 November 2013, 19:34

I have never seen or read about a regime that lies as much as the Baath party does...
Maybe the sun will stop from shining on earth.. Maybe the moon stops rotating around earth... Maybe the stars will never appear at night... One thing is certain is that the era of the dictator and murderer Bashar is coming to an end... Like it or not!!

Missing peace 27 November 2013, 19:36

he is an exact copy paste of his father who buried thousands in mass graves in hama and built schools and public buildings over them.... this is the kind of regime supported proudly by M8....

Thumb joesikemrex 28 November 2013, 00:49

+ 10000

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 20:55

lol so you were lying before about living in Lebanon genius. Good riddance lying american :D

Thumb Mystic 27 November 2013, 21:10

Says the American that wanted to bomb the Syrian people, good job "dude" keep it going. The Lebanese are already well aware of this fake revolution going on :) They couldn't care less, btw most Lebanese even wants the Syrian refugees to leave whether they are Islamist or not.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 23:04

lol yea, among those 120,000 there was no soldier killed by the rebels/mercenaries/jihadis. there wasn't any civilians killed by that same trash, and there wasnt any rebels killed by the army.
it was all bashar on his own, killing innocent unarmed civilians. tony, thank you for bringing us back to reality, we were so far from it.

Thumb _mowaten_ 28 November 2013, 14:38

yea, because he didnt give in to takfiris, if takfiris kill people it's his fault. i dont know what world you live in, but please stay in it, dont try crashing into the real world, it's not for you.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 November 2013, 22:56

try again, that didnt make any sense.

Thumb joesikemrex 28 November 2013, 00:46

tonyfarris - you are correct about the thumbing. Hizb propaganda employees are working very hard to meet their quotas. Watch the thumbing and personal attacks. Bunch of undeducated thugs.

Thumb LebCynic 28 November 2013, 10:16

President Bashar for 2014 and beyond. Many countries will seek his advise for extremist rodent control.

Thumb _mowaten_ 28 November 2013, 14:39

sorry, what was i thinking. let's resuscitate them, it's only been 3 decades.