Syrian govt: Opposition are traitors

2014-01-22 12:20
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem attends a plenary session meeting on ending the crisis in Syria in Montreux, Switzerland. (File, AP)

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem attends a plenary session meeting on ending the crisis in Syria in Montreux, Switzerland. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Montreux - Syria's foreign minister has accused his country's opposition of being traitors and says neighbouring countries set Syria ablaze by sending arms and fighters to the civil war.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem spoke just after US Secretary of State John Kerry, who accused Syria's government of turning a peaceful protest movement into an international catastrophe.

Kerry said President Bashar Assad would have no place in the transitional government that is the stated goal of the peace talks.

Syrians bear the primary responsibility for ending the civil war in their country, the UN secretary general said Wednesday, opening peace talks that he acknowledged face "formidable" challenges.

Ban Ki-moon called on the Syrian government and the Western-backed opposition trying to overthrow it to negotiate in good faith as they meet face-to-face for the first time.

"We know that it has been an extremely difficult path to reach this point. We have lost valuable time and many, many lives. Let me not mince words, the challenges before you and before all of us are formidable. But your presence here raises hope," he said in his opening remarks.

The world's most powerful diplomats - including US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov - gathered in Montreux, Switzerland, for the talks, which had been in doubt just two days ago.

But the Syrian National Coalition, the umbrella group representing the opposition, is in disarray, with little influence on rebel brigades fighting in Syria. And Iran, which is one of President Bashar Assad's major backers, was invited and then disinvited at the last minute.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    un  |  bashar assad  |  john kerry  |  sergei lavrov  |  syria  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

All Blacks batter brave Tonga
Byrne: Israel Folau a 'freak'
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
England World Cup coaches barred

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.