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Haider Says U.S. Serious About Opening Channels with Assad

Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar believes there is a "serious American thought" being given to "opening channels" with Damascus
Haider Says U.S. Serious About Opening Channels with Assad

Haidar noted, however, that "discussion of this subject remains premature as long as America continues to support the opposition."


Haider was speaking after a meeting with the International Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus, as one of the members of the"Coalition of Syrian Forces of Change", which includes a number of opposition parties represented in the government.


Commenting on media reports about an international conference on Syria in Geneva between officials in the State Department and Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil, one of the mainstays of the internal opposition, Haidar said: "I think that Washington is seriously considering the idea of opening channels with Syria, but it is too early to speak about it, especially since the United States did not stop the political and media support of the Syrian opposition abroad and it even talks about arming, funding and training this opposition ."


"We hope that the change in the U.S. position is real," he said.


On the other hand, Haider considered that "there is a need to sort out the real meaning of the opposition and its support, the national and non-national."


"Whoever puts preconditions does not want to go to any political process," he said referring to the Syrian National Coalition's condition that any dialogue should be about the democratic transition in Syria.


On Brahimi's statements about a unified opposition delegation in Geneva, Haider said, "there is no doubt that we cannot unify the opposition, we will not go under the umbrella of the Coalition, because we disagree radically", describing the idea of unifying the opposition as a "fiction".


"We will not attend under the umbrella of the Coalition, even if we don't participate in Geneva," he concluded.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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