Friday, February 8, 2013

Damascus “Open” to Khatib’s Dialogue Initiative

"...In remarks to Al-Akhbar, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil denied that the authorities were ignoring the initiative, saying it was Khatib who had ignored a previous government initiative.“If [Khatib’s initiative] can concur with the government initiative – on not accepting external interference, for example – the Syrian state will be open to all possible initiatives for a solution without preconditions,” he said.
Jamil indicated that the Syrian government does not consider Khatib’s preconditions for dialogue unacceptable, noting that Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar responded to Khatib’s demand for the release of detainees by urging him to provide lists of the prisoners concerned. He said the government was generally in favor of acting to free all detainees who have not committed crimes.
The Syrian deputy premier suggested that it was not acceptable for Khatib to “determine the identity of the negotiator representing the regime in the dialogue,” namely Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa. “It is not good to interfere in sovereign matters in this way.” ... 
Jamil also denied Lebanese press reports that he had visited the UAE to discuss the crisis. He said that his remarks to the press at the Beirut airport, while travelling to Moscow on a private visit via Dubai, had been misconstrued. “This led to rumors spreading about a [UAE] role in resolving the Syrian crisis [as well as] the possibility that it might advance a political settlement, even though its name has not featured during the months of bloody events witnessed by the country,” he explained. “This was amid other rumors about a possible role for UAE companies in rebuilding areas devastated by the systematic destruction the country has suffered.”..."

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