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Syrian opposition says awaiting serious approach from Damascus to talks

May 26, 2013, 23:36 UTC+3

Safi claimed that Damascus has failed to demonstrate preparedness to do this so far

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ANKARA, May 26 (Itar-Tass) - National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces expects Damascus to demonstrate a serious approach to the talks in Geneva, Louai Safi, a well-known American-Syrian scholar and champion of the rights of Islam told Itar-Tass Sunday.

He said members of the coalition well-disposed towards the prospects for its participation in the Geneva-2 talks, the idea of which is promulgated by Russia and the U.S., but the regime of President Assad should show first and foremost that it is ready to work within the framework that was spelt out at the first Geneva conference.

Safi claimed that Damascus has failed to demonstrate preparedness to do this so far.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mohi Edine al-Muallem said earlier Sunday that Damascus has taken a fundamental decision to send an official delegation to Geneva, since a conference there would furnish the Syrians with a fair opportunity to untangle the crisis in their country.

Safi commented on Walid Muallem’s statement by saying the Assad Administration will most likely send a delegation that will not have enough high-rank officials.

He surmised that it might be composed of academics but an approach of this kind would not be serious, since the opposition wants full-scale talks, not just discussions.

The Syrian National Coalition expects the Assad regime to make a statement on readiness to hold talks on the Geneva-2 floor and the oppositionists continue debating on the prospects for their own participation in the conference meanwhile, Safi said.

Earlier reports indicated that the irreconcilable opposition might take the final decision Sunday.

Saturday, Safi told Itar-Tass the coalition is ready to take part in the Geneva-2 talks on the condition President Bashar al-Assad agrees to give a transitional government formed by the opposition an opportunity to execute the full scope of its duties.

On the face of it, the oppositionist conference that began May 23 and was expected to round up three days after will continue for another two days.

Monday, members of the coalition will likely go over to voting on the candidacies for the posts of president and vice-president of the coalition and will consider a possibility for broadening its ranks.

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