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Minister: broad coalition government, not transitional authority to be created in Syria

January 08, 2014, 7:51 UTC+3 BEIRUT
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BEIRUT, January 08, 7:14 /ITAR-TASS/. A broad coalition government, “not a transitional authority similar to that during the American occupation in Iraq” will be created in Syria, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said on Tuesday, explaining the official position of Damascus before the convening of a peace conference in Geneva.

According to him, “the talks in Switzerland, under any circumstances, will not go according to the U.S., Turkish or Saudi-French agenda.” “The Syrian delegation,” said al-Zoubi, “will go to Geneva in order to achieve a result that meets the national interests. Moreover, any document adopted there will not be effective unless it is approved by the Syrian people in a nationwide referendum.”

Al-Zoubi said that if “the Istanbul coalition” disrupts the peaceful settlement conference in Geneva, then “the inter-Syrian dialogue will take place anyway and will be held in Damascus.”

The Syrian minister’s news conference followed reports of disagreements within the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCR) at a meeting of its governing body in Istanbul. Members of the six factions of the coalition left the conference hall, expressing disagreement with the re-election of Ahmad al-Jarba, who is considered the Saudi protйgй, as the NCR head. In addition, the question of NCR participation in the Geneva conference remains a stumbling block. The uncompromising faction - Syrian National Council, supported by the Muslim Brotherhood organisation, has threatened to withdraw from the coalition if a decision is made to send a delegation of the Syrian opposition to Switzerland.

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