Rebels Reject Syrian Govt Calls for Negotiations

Demand Assad's Immediate Resignation as Precondition

by Jason Ditz, February 25, 2013

Syrian rebels have once again angrily condemned offers for negotiations with the Assad government, insisting that they would never negotiate until Assad announced his immediate resignation, adding that they believe he and other members of the regime are “criminals and we will not negotiate with a criminal.”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said that the government was ready to negotiate without any precondition, and that they were even willing to negotiate with armed factions, and indeed anyone else willing to negotiate with them.

The comments are a step forward for Syria’s government in agreeing to negotiation, as previous offers have come with preconditions of a ceasefire. The rebel position, which is to reject any talks, has not changed.

The rebels appear not to have an endgame that involves a negotiated settlement, despite the apparent stalemate of the ongoing civil war. Minor territorial gains are forever being reported, but the rebels seem no closer to actually conquering the nation, let alone imposing a new government on the nation.

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