Assad advisor: Syrian crisis may be over in 2 weeks

Assad advisor: Syrian crisis may be over in 2 weeks
Wed Nov 6, 2013 07:33:59

There’s a chance to end the Syrian crisis in two weeks if there’s political will on all sides, says Bouthaina Shaaban, the political and media advisor to the Syrian president.

“If the various parties have the political will to put an end to the Syrian suffering, to the Syrian crisis, they can do it within weeks. If they can only stop financing the arming [of Syrian rebels] and the smuggling of terrorists across the border from Turkey, 50 percent of the Syrian crisis would be over in two weeks’ time,” Shaaban said in an interview with Russia Today.

She said that the Syrian government was ready to take part in Geneva-2 peace talks without any preconditions. President Bashar Assad’s government is ready to sit down for peace talks with “people who represent the political opposition” of the Syrian population, but not the armed rebel groups, Shaaban said. 

For example, the coalition represented by Saudi Arabia “has nothing to do with the Syrian people,” she said.

“We would like to know, ‘Who do these people represent on the ground?’ Do they represent the [Al-] Nusra Front or Al-Qaeda? They do not represent the Syrian people.”

Although many groups on the ground have refused to be part of the Syrian opposition’s national coalition, the main political parties are calling for Assad to step down as a precondition for the talks.

After a day of talks on Tuesday with representatives from the US, Russia, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi said the sides have not managed to agree on a date for the Geneva 2 peace conference. He added that the next meeting was scheduled for November 25.

Shaaban also urged US Secretary of State John Kerry to be more constructive, “not to change his narrative” and to “take the same stance” every time he speaks about the Syrian crisis.

“The US Secretary of State should honor his words … and take the same stance everywhere he goes, so the people would understand what [the US stance is].”

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million others displaced due to the violence.

BA/BA

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