Syria Says Assad Won't Cede Power at Geneva Meet

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Syrian President Bashar Assad will not step down at a proposed peace conference in Geneva but will only discuss the formation of a national unity government, the foreign minister said on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference in Damascus, Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem also slammed a decision by supporters of the Syrian opposition to arm the rebels, saying it would only prolong a conflict already in its 28th month.

"President Bashar Assad will not resign. If your condition (for talks at Geneva) is President Assad's resignation, don't bother coming," he said.

"We will head to Geneva not to hand over power to the other side... We will go to Geneva in order to set up a real partnership and a broad national unity government."

Despite supporting opposing sides in the conflict, Russia and the United States have spearheaded an initiative to hold a peace conference in Geneva.

But prospects for the conference appear dim, and it has already been pushed back from a mooted June date until July at the earliest.

The opposition has said that any solution to the conflict must involve Assad's departure, something the regime has repeatedly ruled out.

The opposition has also set other conditions for its attendance, including the withdrawal of Hizbullah fighters from neighboring Lebanon who have intervened in support of the Assad regime.

The Syrian government has said it will attend the conference, but has made clear it has no plans to cede power.

Muallem also lashed out against a decision by the Friends of Syria group of Arab and Western governments that back the opposition to step up their assistance to the rebels.

"Two days ago a conference (of the Friends of Syria group) was held in Doha. They emerged with a clear decision to arm the opposition... This will only prolong the crisis," Muallem said.

Qatar said the Friends of Syria group had agreed on a "secret" plan to ramp up assistance to the rebels.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged additional support for the rebels to end an "imbalance" in Assad's favor.

"Who decides when the balance needs to be restored?" asked Muallem.

"They say the restoration of balance is aimed at forcing the Syrian government to attend the Geneva talks. We said we are ready to attend -- but what about the other side?" he asked.

The Friends of Syria group "said they are acting for the sake of the Syrian people. Does killing the Syrian people achieve that goal?"

Muallem warned that any arms provided to the opposition would end up in the hands of Al-Nusra Front, a rebel group that has openly proclaimed its allegiance to Al-Qaida and is on Washington's terror blacklist.

"Why don't they (the Friends of Syria) see how they are contributing to terrorism?

"I only want to say that what was decided in Doha is dangerous because it aims at prolonging the violence, and it encourages terrorism," he said.

"Arming the opposition will be an obstacle to the Geneva conference and will kill more of our people."

Comments 8
Missing antibiotic 24 June 2013, 14:06

Then you will die there, cant wait you filthy shia snakes

Thumb benzona 24 June 2013, 15:19

Inta Allem? La2, Ana Moo Allem!

This fool.... Pardon me, fat fool, is so done.... Of course he won't hand over power to the democracy, it'll be taken away from him and his blind ophthalmologist friend.

Default-user-icon emily (Guest) 24 June 2013, 16:14

Broad based Unity Government is the Best Option as it will lead directly to stop the war, where so many innocent people have to suffer tremendously. Mualem is perfectly right about NUSRA FRONT. They are dangerous.Ones they are in power they will do ETHNIC Cleansing! ENOUGH BLOODSHED AND SUFFERING ! ENOUGH !! SAY YES TO PEACE.

Default-user-icon Nizar (Guest) 24 June 2013, 16:35

hateful thugs posting here, how stupid you, filled up to your ears with hate.. you hate Syria so much that you forget about your own problems and the shit you are sitting deep in, and despite the problems in Syria it is still controlling your shit and you know this. hehe, I would advise you to go to do something more useful then to spread your hate here, MOO ALLEM and OPHTHALMOLOGIST are still quite good in moving ahead, what about you? You are lead by them..Go it??!

Thumb bigsami 24 June 2013, 17:46

Ya josh-boosTIZI....people with mentality of hatred like you and all those extremist shia need to be eliminated form this planet. You are a pathetic coward and reason why this world lives in fear!

Thumb benzona 24 June 2013, 21:06


Bigsami, let's meet this Wednesday and organize a BBQ, you bring the meat? I mean the hearts? LOL it apparently is yummy.

Btw, my little finger tells me that josh Bustany is on his way to get a dash before his nickname. ;-)

Thumb LebCynic 24 June 2013, 18:16

Why should a President with a majority of citizens backing him resign and hand the country over to a terrorist organization? Thanks to GCC & KSA Syria will need generations to get it to where it was prior to the meddling of the manufacturers of terror being USA and there GCC & KSA puppets. How could have this so called revolution improved Syria? All its done is improved every other country with an Islamist problem by sending their extremists over to Syria to fight under the fake banner of jihad in an ugly sectarian war. Allah Syria w Bashar.

Thumb benzona 24 June 2013, 21:08

What majority? The one you saw in your dreams?