[QODLink]
Middle East

Assad: Foreign powers must end rebel support

Syrian president tells UN-Arab envoy that peace talks can only take place when foreign states withdraw assistance.

Last Modified: 31 Oct 2013 07:16
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has said he is open to peace talks but insisted that they would not go ahead unless foreign nations stopped supporting rebel fighters.

The comments came during a meeting on Wednesday with peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus.

"The Syrian people are the only ones who have the right to decide on Syria's future, and any solution or agreement must have the acceptance of the Syrian people, and reflect their desires," Assad told Brahimi.

The meeting came as part of a regional tour aimed at  garnering support for a US-Russian peace initiative for Syria planned next month in Geneva.

Assad also warned there must not be "any foreign intervention" in seeking a solution to Syria's civil war, in which an estimated 115,000 people have died  in 31 months.

"Putting an end to support for the terrorists and pressuring the states that support them is the most important step to prepare... for dialogue," Assad said.

Since the start of an anti-Assad revolt in March 2011, Damascus has systematically branded the uprising-turned-rebellion as a foreign-backed plot. 

"The success of any political solution is linked to putting an end to support funnelled to terrorist groups," he added.

State television also reported UN-Arab League envoy Brahimi as agreeing with Assad that the Syrians themselves need to find a solution to the conflict ravaging the country.

"The efforts being made for the Geneva conference to be held are focused on finding the way for the Syrians themselves to meet and to agree on solving the crisis as quickly as possible," Brahimi said in the meeting, his first with Assad since December last year.

288

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.