The Syrian government says it welcomes talks with the opposition inside Syria.
Thu Feb 14, 2013
On Wednesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the country is ready for dialogue with the opposition in Syria as long as it is based on political reforms outlined by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Damascus’s gates are open for dialogue on a Syrian land and under the roof of the homeland,” the statement read.
The ministry said the country welcomed Russia’s invitation to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov will also visit Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, the head of the foreign-backed Syrian National Coalition, in Russia.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry stressed that Moallem’s visit is not related to Khatib’s trip to Russia.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Wednesday that Moallem would visit Russia by the end of February, and Khatib would come in the next two or three weeks.
Earlier in the day, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the UN Security Council to take “meaningful” action against the unrest in Syria.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
Several international human rights organizations say the foreign-sponsored militants have committed war crimes.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.