Syrian regime: don’t expect Assad’s resignation at Geneva talks

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The Syrian government will not go to the Geneva talks to hand over power and the opposition should not “bother” going if they expect President Bashar al-Assad to resign, Syria’s foreign minister said on Monday.

Walid al-Muallem said Assad will not step down. “If your condition is President Assad’s resignation, don’t bother coming,” he said at a Damascus press conference.

Muallem slammed the decision by “Friends of Syria” to arm the rebels, saying the move would only prolong the war.

“What was decided in Doha is serious because it aims to prolong the crisis, violence, and killing and encourage terrorism.”

He said rebel fighters had little prospect of matching the power of Assad’s army despite foreign support.

“If they expect or fantasize that they can create a balance of power, I think they will need to wait years for that to happen,” Muallem added.

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