DAMASCUS, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar said the upcoming Geneva II international conference on Syria would be a starting point for the new political process in Syria.
The minister made the remarks during a recent interview with Xinhua at a time preparations are underway for the Geneva II international conference on Syria which is planned to be held in mid-November.
The internationally-backed conference is designed to bring the opposition and representatives of the current government back to the negotiation table to craft a political settlement to end the Syrian crisis.
The planned conference is a follow-up to last year's international meeting in Geneva that drafted a peace roadmap for Syria but was never materialized. Since then, the new conference has been referred to as Geneva II.
"I think that the Geneva II conference would be held before the end of this year and it would be the start of the political process (of Syria), but not the accomplishment of such process," Ali Haidar told Xinhua.
"Geneva II is designed to achieve a political process that could get Syria out of the crisis," he said, noting that "the political process could include anything and part of the things that could be discussed is the amendment of the current constitution. So anything could be discussed and most importantly the structure of the future political system of Syria."
Haidar, meanwhile, stressed that the negotiations must start " without preconditions," noting that the parties that are desirous of the political solution must renounce violence, in reference to the rebels who are reluctant to curb their attacks.
Speaking about the prolonged crisis in Syria, the minister said the crisis has dragged for too long because "some parties thought the reforms of the government were unconvincing and not enough, while others rejected the political process because they think that they could achieve a military accomplishment on ground."
Meanwhile, Haidar took a swipe at the armed rebels and their international and regional patrons, saying his government knows " that the size of the foreign aggression and the war against Syria was big."
"Today we are talking about 86 countries that have nationals fighting in Syria and thus the size of the war against Syria has grown larger. On the top of that, the number of the groups that are fighting in Syria has exceeded 300 and most of those groups are undisciplined and have no political references," he elaborated.
Commenting on talks about the status of President Bashar al- Assad in the future of Syria, after the exiled opposition repeatedly stipulated his departure as a prelude to any political settlement, Haidar said "It's not important to speak today about the departure of the president or his stay. What is important is to find a political process."
"We need the people to have their say and to contribute to the political process in order to reach to the phase of the presidential elections... and let us see what is the decision of the people," he added.