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Syrian Deputy Prime Minister: Syrian war reaches stalemate

September 20, 2013, 8:00 UTC+3

Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil said at Geneva-2 conference the government of the republic would call for a ceasefire

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LONDON, September 20 (Itar-Tass) - The war in Syria has reached a stalemate, and neither side has enough strength to win, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil said in an exclusive interview with The Guardian, published on Friday.

According to the politician, at the peace conference on Syria (Geneva-2) the government of the republic would call for a ceasefire. If the armed opposition accepts this proposal, Jamil told the publication, the ceasefire would have to be kept “under international observation.” It could be provided by monitors or UN peacekeepers - as long as they came from neutral or friendly countries, he said.

“Neither the armed opposition nor the regime is capable of defeating the other side,” he said, speaking on behalf of the Syrian authorities. “This zero balance of forces will not change for a while.”

Jamil also said that the Syrian economy had suffered catastrophic losses due to the prolonged armed conflict in the territory that disrupted the usual production processes. Meanwhile, he said, the Syrian economy had lost about $100 billion, equivalent to two years of normal production, during the war.

The leaders of the Syrian armed opposition, The Guardian recalls, have repeatedly refused to go to what is called Geneva Two unless (Syrian President) Assad first resigns. An earlier conference on Syria at Geneva lasted for just one day in June last year and no Syrians attended. According to the newspaper, “Jamil’s comments are the first indication of the proposals that Syria will bring to the table at the summit, which Russia and the US have been trying to convene for months.”

Asked what proposals his government would make at Geneva, he said: “An end to external intervention, a ceasefire and the launching of a peaceful political process in a way that the Syrian people can enjoy self-determination without outside intervention and in a democratic way.”

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