Syrian situation obliged opposition to accept talks with regime: Khatib

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The dire humanitarian situation in Syria has compelled the Syrian opposition to accept dialogue with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, opposition leader, Moaz al-Khatib, told Al Arabiya on Monday.

While the opposition accepted dialogue with the Syrian regime based on the condition that President Assad must cede power, Khatib said that “the Syrian humanitarian suffering and - only suffering - has compelled the opposition to opt for such solution.”

According to Khatib, “if the regime accepts such political solution, then there is no need to close the door.”

The opposition has previously rejected any talks with the embattled Syrian regime, but accepting a dialogue now is due to the “complicated” situation, the opposition leader said without adding any further information.

He signaled Syrian Vice President Farouq Al-Sharaa as one of Assad regime members, whose hands are not “stained with blood,” to have a dialogue with.

“Just because [Sharaa] is part of the regime doesn’t mean that we cannot talk to him. I request the regime to commission Sharaa, (if the regime accepts), for talks with us.”

While there are Assad regime members who started torturing people from day one when the 22-month revolution started, there were others who do not agree with the regime’s violent methods, the opposition chief said, describing the latter group as shunned by the regime itself.

Meanwhile, Khatib met with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as well as Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in meetings held on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

In Munich, Khatib said that “Russia has a certain vision,” but he told Al Arabiya that Syrians shouldn’t depend on big powers to find solutions as they do not have any “vision.”

When meeting Salehi, he said that the opposition has sent a clear message that it doesn’t the creation of a Sunni-Shiite conflict in the region, and hopes that the Assad regime to be responsive and act “rationally” to alleviate and minimize the destruction of the country.

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