I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for these Syrian peace talks to get going:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the United States and Saudi Arabia wanted “terrorist groups” to join peace talks proposed by world powers, and that nobody in Syria would accept such talks, in an interview transcript published by state media.
Asked whether he would be willing to join negotiations called for by world powers by Jan. 1, he said: “They want the Syrian government to negotiate with terrorists, something I don’t think anyone would accept in any country.”
They were Assad’s first comments since Syrian opposition groups including armed rebels met in Saudi Arabia this week to draw up a common platform for negotiations. Asked whether he would be willing to negotiate with the groups, he said:
“Whenever they want to change their approach, give up the armaments, we are ready, while to deal with them as a political entity, this is something we completely refuse.”
Assad won’t meet with the rebels until they stop rebelling, and the rebels (the ones who are still talking to each other) won’t stop rebelling until Assad agrees to step down and clap himself in handcuffs (although the bit about the handcuffs may be negotiable). Everybody’s blustering and nobody seems ready to get serious about negotiations. Sounds like things are off to a good start!
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