Syrian rebel leader Mouaz al-Khatib has publicly condemned the Russian Foreign Ministry for offering to organize peace talks aimed at ending the civil war, insisting that no talks were possible until Russia forcibly removed Bashar Assad from power.
Khatib went on to demand that Russia offer a public apology to “the people of Syria” for opposing UN Security Council actions aimed at installing the rebels as the new government.
Russian officials have opposed calls for the international community to impose regime change on Syria, insisting that the solution should come from negotiations among Syrian factions.
To that end Russian officials are continuing to endorse the Geneva plan for a transition, which was agreed to in late June. Rebels have repeatedly condemned the plan, because it does not guarantee them full control over the nation.