Syrian official: State will make no concessions during talks

2016-01-24 21:49
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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

Beirut - The Syrian government will not make any new concessions in future peace talks at a time when the Syrian army is making progress in different parts of the country, a senior official in President Bashar Assad's ruling Baath party said in remarks published on Sunday.

Hilal al-Hilal's comments come ahead of scheduled peace talks in Geneva to work on ending Syria's nearly five-year conflict, which has killed more than 250 000 people. His remarks were published by state media Sunday.

The Geneva talks, which were to begin on Monday but will likely be delayed, are part of a UN plan that envisions an 18-month timetable for a political transition.

The Syrian opposition says Assad should have no role in Syria's future, even during a transitional period. Assad, whose family has governed Syria for more than four decades, has said he will only step down if voted out.

"We are not going to give today what we did not give over the past five years," said al-Hilal late on Saturday, during a visit to troops in areas they recently captured from insurgents outside the capital, Damascus.

"This year will be the year of victory for Syria because of the heroic acts and sacrifices by its army and people," said al-Hilal.

Also Sunday, the government newspaper, Tishrin, said in an editorial that the Geneva talks should only bring in negotiators with genuine plans for rebuilding Syria, and not "representatives for the agendas terrorist-supporting countries that seek a seat for terrorism at the dialogue table".

Tishrin was referring to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, who are strong backers of the opposition that is trying to remove Assad from power.

On Sunday, Syrian troops captured the town of Rabiaa and the village of Rawda in the coastal province of Latakia, their latest push since Russia began airstrikes last year, according to state news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Russia began its air campaign September 30, and Syrian troops and allied militiamen launched a ground offensive against rebels in different parts of Syria shortly afterward, regaining control of dozen of towns and villages.

Russia has been one of the strongest supporters of Assad since the start of the uprising in 2011.

Opposition groups have accused Russia of obstructing the talks by trying to impose restrictions on which opposition groups can participate. Some opposition groups have said they will not take part in talks while Syrians die from government blockades and in Russian and government airstrikes.

Read more on:    saudi arabia  |  turkey  |  russia  |  syria  |  qatar

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.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.