Assad must stay out of talks: Opposition
“Bashar Assad and security leadership…are outside the political process…,” the opposition coalition said in a statement on Friday.
The bloc added that the decision is part of a framework that it has drawn up for finding solutions to the unrest.
On Thursday, the coalition issued an eight-point framework in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, following a meeting to discuss a proposal by the bloc’s head Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, to hold talks with the Syrian government’s representatives.
On February 13, the Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the country is ready for dialogue with the opposition in Syria as long as it is based on political reforms outlined by Assad.
“Damascus’s gates are open for dialogue on a Syrian land and under the roof of the homeland,” the statement read.
On January 30, Khatib announced that he is ready for “direct discussions” with representatives of the Syrian government in Cairo, Tunis or Istanbul.
However, he said that there are “basic conditions” before holding talks with the Syrian officials over the crisis in the Arab country.
The so-called Syrian National Coalition and other foreign-backed opposition groups have stressed in the past that the Syrian president must step down before any negotiations.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government has said that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants operating in the country are foreign nationals.
Several international human rights organizations have accused foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes.
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