Syria Deputy PM ‘Ready to Discuss’ Assad Leaving

Says Govt. Will Discuss 'Any Issue' in Talks

by Jason Ditz, August 21, 2012

Speaking today during a visit to Moscow, Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said that Syria is open to holding talks with rebels on any issue, including the possible removal of Bashar Assad from office.

“Any problems can be discussed during negotiations,” Jamil added, cautioning that demanding the ouster as a condition of even holding the talks was preventing them from progressing, and that getting both sides together should be the goal.

Russia warned the United States against invading Syria today, but also faulted the Assad regime for not doing more to end the civil war. Today’s Jamil comments may be an effort to placate Russia’s concerns.

Both regime and rebels have mostly abandoned the idea of peace talks in the past several weeks, endorsing the civil war in earnest. With the fighting going on and neither side making much progress, Russia in particular seems eager to negotiate some sort of settlement.

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