Ahead of the upcoming peace talks scheduled to take place in Syria before the end of the month in Kazakhstan, President Bashar al-Assad said he is ready to discuss “everything” related to Syria and the six-year conflict while stressing that the talks will be held with the “real Syrian opposition.”
Several attempts to broker the peace in Syria have failed and ceasefire agreements were very fragile and marred with violations.
Reports carried by the state media stated that “there’s no limit to negotiations” but “the viability” of the conference depends on those who are going to represent “the other side.”
Assad’s fate in a post-war Syria has been the center of disagreement between the rebels and Damascus. The rebels want him to step down and have no role in the next administration but the president has rejected such demands arguing that his position is “related to the constitution” and a president is decided by the Syrian people and “not part of the Syrian people.”
President Assad said “the constitution is very clear about the mechanism” and “the constitution is not owned by the government or the president or by the opposition; it should be owned by the Syrian people, so you need a referendum for every constitution.”
The Syrian president wants the talks to be held between “real Syrian opposition- and when I say ‘real’ it means has grassroots in Syria, not Saudi one or French one or British one – it should be Syrian opposition to discuss the Syrian issues.”
It is unclear which group of the opposition falls under that category because Damascus only recognizes the opposition that is not engaged in the armed conflict and terms those taking part in the six-year old war as terrorists.