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Syrian Regime Ready to Take On Negotiations with the Opposition - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London- Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister and former Permanent Envoy to the United Nations Faisal Mekdad announced that the Syrian regime is prepared to enter rounds of direct negotiations with the Syrian Opposition. The anticipated talks are to be held in Geneva.

Mekdad denied rumoring possibilities on establishing a Federation inside Syria. On the other hand, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad convened with the Russian parliamentary delegation in Damascus as to discuss the newfangled constitution demanded for the country’s better future. Assad expressed his gratitude to the Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting his regime.

According to Russian lawmaker Sergey Gavrilov, Assad had conveyed deep appreciation to Russia’s assistance for Syria, and said that Putin “is considered one of the most popular political figures in Syria, and he could occupy any post within the Syrian government.”

As for the upcoming Geneva negotiations, Assad told the Russian lawmakers that he believes in the possibility of settling the Syrian crisis within the course of the peace talks.

Mekdad denied any pending federation being imposed in Syria. “Syria is a small country, and thus the government is not considering the possibility of establishing a federation, however, the administration is calling for integrating all concerned parties in upcoming negotiations, including Kurds,” he said.

Assad reaffirmed his absolute rejection of subjecting Syria to a federation when receiving the Russian parliamentary delegation in Damascus yesterday.

Russian lawmaker Alexander Yushchenko, a member of the Russian delegation, reported Assad’s given speech “you could ask any Syrian citizen, and they, in turn, will tell you that establishing a federation will not play towards uniting the country.”

Yushchenko added that Assad confirmed the necessity of putting forth a proposition for a new constitution before popular negotiations, taking into notice that the new instrument of government will protect all Syrian people. Both the majority and minorities of Syria will be protected by the constitution, and a law addressing the secularism of the Syrian government will be accredited.

Russian Senator Dmitry Sablin, another member of the delegation, said that Syrian President Assad has “pledged to spend maximum efforts on protecting Christians in Syria, and has warned the dangers of Syria alongside other Middle East countries transforming into extremist states that threaten the whole world, should Christians leave the region.”

Gavrilov repeatedly confirmed that Assad is keen on resolving the Syrian crisis within the work frame of the anticipated Geneva talks.

Regime dominated areas, on March 13, will launch ministerial elections amid rising fears of violence and assaults targeting voting polls. The vicinity of voting centers is witnessing maximum alertness and intensified security measures are being implemented.

Considering the current state-of-affairs and living status suffered by a popular majority, Syrians displayed utter disinterest in the upcoming electoral event.

Mrs. Hanadi. A., a Syrian school instructor said that “the parading elections are exclusive to the government and those benefiting from them, other than that, the elections don’t concern anyone who is still living in the country, given that they cannot secure their children’s lives nor provide themselves with minimum sustenance.”

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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