Bloomberg News

Syrian Government Willing to Hold National Dialogue, Sana Says

February 09, 2013

The Syrian government is willing to hold national talks to end the conflict if the opposition abandons weapons and sets no pre-conditions, Syrian Arab News Agency said, citing a state television interview with the Information Minister.

Initial efforts at national dialogue must include the “widest possible spectrum” of Syrians, Omran al-Zoubi was cited as saying by state media. None of those who participate in talks “will be harmed,” the news service said.

Opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib said earlier this month that he was open to a dialogue with members of President Bashar al-Assad’s government subject to conditions, including the release of 160,000 detainees. He said he was ready to meet Assad’s deputy, Farouk al-Shara, because since the start of the crisis he “has seen that things were going in the wrong direction.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Glen Carey in Riyadh at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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