2 min read  | Damascus, Multimedia, Photos, Politics

Minister: No talks with those whose hands are stained with blood


October 7, 2013

NO NEGOTIATING TABLE: The Syrian Minister of National Conciliation Ali Haidar said the Syrian government leadership has communicated with the FSA leaders more than once in a weekend interview BBC Arabic’s Assaf Aboud. Yet the FSA’s Supreme Military Council in Damascus categorically denied any communication with the regime government. “We have not negotiated with this criminal regime a single time,” FSA spokesman Abu Qutadah told Syria Direct on Monday.

“The military fight on the ground is competitive and it will not finish with any side winning,” Haidar told the BBC. “The recent development of takfiris controlling the scene has accelerated the communication” between the two sides.

Haidar’s statement, the first time an Assad regime official has said that the regime has communicated with the armed opposition, accompany other media appearances this week by regime officials charting a moderate tone and emphasizing the regime’s desire for a political solution.

The contradictory statements come as the Geneva II conference approaches, currently planned for November. Haidar reiterated recent statements from Bashar al-Assad and regime officials, welcoming any group to discussions with the Syrian regime under two conditions: the complete refusal of foreign interference and the relinquishing of any weapons.

“Whether implicated or not implicated [in holding arms], this issue is left for courts in the future. Let judging [those people] be a part of the political process, not a pre-condition to sit at the negotiating table,” Haidar said, opening a door for armed opposition groups to attend through the Syrian National Coalition, regardless of their past deeds.

As of Monday, the SNC has not changed their position, from an expressed willingness to negotiate with the “criminal” Syrian regime on the condition that Assad, a “perpetrator of massacres,” leaves his position.

Video courtesy of BBC Arabic.

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