In a speech that he delivered during the first session of the new Syrian parliament in Damascus yesterday, the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad refused any solution that was not in accordance with the paper of principles put forward by Damascus at the indirect Geneva negotiations with the opposition.
Assad, who was received by members of parliament who applauded and chanted “With our soul and blood, we sacrifice for you Bashar”, said “Since the beginning of Geneva 3, we have proposed a paper of principles which form the basis for talks with other parties” and stressed that “We will simply not agree to any proposals that are not in line with it”.
According to Assad, the principles include “Syria’s sovereignty, its unity, the rejection of foreign interference, the renunciation of terrorism, supporting reconciliation, the preservation of institutions, lifting the siege, reconstruction, controlling borders, cultural diversity, the freedom of citizens and the judiciary’s independence from the principles.”
Since last January, three rounds of indirect peace talks between the delegations of the regime and the opposition have taken place in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations. However, they have not achieved any progress. A date for a new round of negotiations has not been set due to the great divergence between the views.
The regime’s delegation presented de Mistura with a paper entitled “Fundamental elements for a political solution” in Geneva on the 18th of March. The most prominent clauses in the paper talk about the formation of a broad or unity government and does not mention a political transition.