Wednesday Jan 16, 201306:46 PM GMT
Syria sets conditions for talks with opposition
Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi (R) sees off Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi in Tehran, on January 16, 2013.
Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi (R) sees off Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi in Tehran, on January 16, 2013.
Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:46PM
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Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi says Damascus will negotiate with opposition groups that agree to lay down their arms.


“…We are even ready to negotiate with armed groups that tend to lay down their weapons because they are the children of the Syria who have been misled by the plots of the enemies, and our aim is to return them to our national society,” said al-Halqi in a Wednesday farewell meeting with Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi .

Commenting on a peace initiative put forward by President Bashar al-Assad to settle the unrest in the Arab country, al-Halqi said in the plan, the Syrian government has tried to consider negotiations with all political groups and parties in the country.

The premier also praised Iran’s support for the Arab country and hailed cooperation agreements signed with his Iranian counterparts during his two-day visit of Tehran.

“Considering that our national economy has been affected and attacked with criminal acts of some terrorist groups, these agreements [with Iran] will have a great impact on different economic and trade sectors in Syria,” he added.

During the meeting, the officials signed a 50-million-euro agreement on supplying equipment for Syria’s power transmission grid.

Rahimi, for his part, said a political solution is the only way to end the Syrian crisis, and within this roadmap Iran supports any effort for negotiation and the peaceful ending of the conflict.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of militants are foreign nationals.

PG/HGH/SS
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