Share This Page

Foreign support for rebels must end, Assad says

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 10:03 p.m.

DAMASCUS — Syrian President Bashar Assad told the Arab League-U.N. envoy on Wednesday that foreign support for the armed opposition must end if any political solution to the country's conflict is to succeed, state-run media said.

Assad's comments to Lakhdar Brahimi during their meeting in Damascus cast further doubt on already sputtering efforts to convene an international peace conference to try to end the country's civil war.

The United States, Russia and the United Nations have been trying for months to bring the Syrian government and the opposition together to attempt to negotiate a political resolution to the conflict.

After repeated delays, efforts renewed in earnest last month to organize the conference, but the Syrian opposition remains deeply divided over whether to attend, while the government refuses to sit down with the armed opposition.

Brahimi's trip to Damascus was the latest stop on a regional tour in recent days as he tries to lay the groundwork for peace talks in Geneva that are tentatively planned for next month. But Assad, whose government has regained momentum in recent months in the conflict, showed little sign of inching toward compromise.

“For any political solution to be successful, it is crucial to halt support for terrorist groups and the countries that sponsor them, facilitate the entry of terrorist mercenaries and offer them money, weapons and logistical support,” Assad was quoted by Al-Ikhbariya television as telling Brahimi. “The Syrian people alone are entitled to draw the future of Syria. Any solution must be approved by them and reflect their wishes away from any foreign intervention.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.