Syrian regime says not going to Geneva talks to hand over power

Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi speaks during a news conference in Damascus earlier this year. (File photo: Reuters)

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said the Syrian regime will not attend a planned peace conference in Geneva if the aim is for President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power.

Al-Zohbi said efforts to arrange the so-called Geneva II talks still focus on finding a political solution for the ongoing crisis.

“President Bashar al-Assad will remain head of state,” he added in statements carried by the official SANA news agency.

Washington, Moscow and the United Nations are trying to fix a date for Geneva II talks bringing all sides together to discuss a political solution to the conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people since March 2011.

Syria's opposition has refused to attend unless Assad's resignation is on the table. Rebel groups have warned that participants would be considered traitors.

The Syrian information minister's comments came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met his Saudi counterpart in Riyadh on Monday to smooth over differences on Syria.

(with AFP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41