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Assad is Ready to Negotiate “About Everything” Except His Position | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The President of the Syrian regime Bashar Al-Assad announced his readiness to negotiate on all issues except him remaining in power.

Assad said “We are ready to negotiate about everything. When you talk about negotiations on ending the conflict in Syria, or about Syria’s future, everything is available and there are no limits to those negotiations”. In response to a question about his willingness to discuss his fate as president, Assad replied “yes, but my position is linked to the constitution, and the constitution is very clear about the mechanism in which you can bring a president or get rid of a president. So, if they want to discuss this point, they have to discuss the constitution, and the constitution is not owned by the government or the president or by the opposition; it should be owned by the Syrian people, so you need a referendum for every constitution. This is one of the points that could be discussed in that meeting, of course, but they cannot say “we need that president” or “we don’t need that president” because the president is related to the ballot box. If they don’t need him, let’s go to the ballot box. The Syrian people as a whole should select the president, not just part of the Syrian people.”

He also asked about who Damascus is supposed to be negotiating with, saying “Who will be there from the other party? We still do not know. Will it be the real Syrian opposition? When I say the “real” opposition, I mean that it has popular bases in Syria”.

Assad said in an interview with French media that the Barada Valley area which supplies Damascus with water and saw a resurgence of fighting, is not covered by the ceasefire agreement.