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Crossfire seen between Syrian gov't, opposition in Geneva meeting

English.news.cn   2014-01-22 23:26:43

MONTREUX, Switzerland, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The first day of Geneva II conference saw clashes between Syria's government and the main political opposition, who sat down for talks Wednesday for the first time in three years.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem urged international community to "stop supporting armed opposition" in the country, noting that some countries attending the conference had "Syrian blood on their hands."

"Syria is a sovereign country and will do what we find needed for the interests of Syrian people," he said. "If you are really concerned over humanitarian situation in Syria, let us act properly."

He accounted atrocities of the extremists, and accused those who, under the cover of revolution, trying to fan up tension in the nation.

Ahmed Jarba, head of Syrian National Coalition, the country's main opposition bloc, criticized the government of killing. "Mass killings continue in Syria. Can one stand? This is not our choice to bear arms," he said.

He said that there was no time to waste and demanded establishment of a transitional government. "For the Syrians, time is now blood," he said.

However, Muallem has made it clear in his speech that "nobody in this world has the right to withdraw the legitimacy of a president or government ... other than the Syrians themselves."

There had been hope that the conference, 18-months after the first Geneva meeting in June 2012, could bring a breakthrough and end the three-year-long conflicts that killed 130,000. But it was dampened by the last-minute threat by the opposition to pull out of the talks, after Ban Ki-moon, the UN Security-General tried to invite Iran, alliance of the Syrian government, to the talks.

Editor: yan
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