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Syrian opposition leader urges Assad to respond to dialogue initiative

English.news.cn   2013-02-05 04:02:17            
 • Al-Khatib said Monday al-Assad has to take a clear stance toward his calls for dialogue.
 • The Syrian government has made no official response to al- Khatib's recent remarks.
 • Many opposition figures abroad said they won't accept dialoguing with the Assad's leadership.


DAMASCUS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Head of the main Syrian opposition coalition in exile, Moaz al-Khatib, said Monday that President Bashar al-Assad has to take a clear stance toward his calls for dialogue "for the interest of the Syrian people" and for the " peaceful departure of the regime."

Quoted by al-Jazeera TV, al-Khatib said "the regime must take a clear stance (on dialogue) and we say we will extend our hand for the interest of people and to help the regime leave peacefully."

"The ball is now in the regime's court. They will either say yes or no," he said.

Al-Khatib's recent remarks are the third one to be made in the same regard after he made surprising statements last week saying that he accepted dialoguing representatives of the Syrian administration on condition of releasing detainees and renewing traveling documents for opposition abroad.

The Syrian government has made no official response to al- Khatib's recent remarks, as many opposition figures abroad expressed dismay about al-Khatib's calls, saying they won't accept dialoguing with the Assad's leadership and will accept nothing but the ouster of Assad.


Army to exert all efforts to protect Syria's institutions: minister

DAMASCUS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Defense Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij said Monday that the Syrian army will do its utmost to protect the country's institutions from armed rebels, calling on citizens to cooperate with the authorities to uncover the hideouts of the gunmen.

Speaking during an interview with the state-TV aired Monday night, al-Freij said the Syrian army is working on securing the roads in order to deliver the needs of the citizens by all means.Full story

Syria capable of repulsing any aggression: Assad

DAMASCUS, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his country is capable of repulsing any aggression that might target its people thanks to the strength of its military and the awareness of its people, according to the state-media.

Assad made the remarks during his meeting Sunday with the head of Iran's supreme national security council, Saeed Jalili, who set foot in Damascus a day earlier for talks with Assad and top officials about the recent Israeli airstrike that targeted a Syrian military research center last Wednesday.Full story

Assad should have initiated dialogue with opposition earlier: Medvedev

MOSCOW, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should have moved faster to seek a deal with the moderate opponents who were ready to sit down with him, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday.

"To my mind, unfortunately, the leadership of Syria proved unprepared for that," Medvedev said in an interview with CNN television, adding it was a "grave mistake."Full story

Editor: Wang Yuanyuan
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