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Syrian opposition and Moscow didn't discuss alternative to Bashar al-Assad — NCSROF chief

August 14, 2015, 11:29 UTC+3
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces chief says the Russian side fears Syria may become another Iraq
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NCSROF chief Khaled Khoja

NCSROF chief Khaled Khoja

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Representatives of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces have not discussed with the Russian side an alternative to Bashar al-Assad, NCSROF chief Khaled Khoja said in response to a question about who might replace Bashar Assad.

"In Syria, 23 million people had to leave the country," he said. "Thus, we are ready to undertake responsibility and power in the country for the transition stage," he said, adding the Russian side had demonstrated "certain confusion about what scenarios NCROF had for Syria’s future."

"They [the Russian side] feared Syria may become another Iraq, may have a crisis of power institutions," he said. "We want to keep the power institutions, the very power and its approaches."

"This approach was supported by the Russian leaders," he said.

Syrian opposition bloc hopes to continue consultations with Russia

According to Khaled Khoja, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces expects to continue consultations with Russia’s leaders on the ways of resolving the Syrian crisis.

"Yesterday we held a constructive meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and discussed the current state of affairs in Syria and in the region," he said. "We exchanged views on the issues that were on the agenda, discussed scenarios of resolving the Syrian crisis." We saw an understanding on the part of the Russian side of our vision of ways of the political settlement," Khoja said.

"We agreed to continue consultations and meetings aimed at finding a solution. The meetings with representatives of the Russian leadership will continue in the future as well," the leader of the National Coalition said.

He again voiced the opinion that "the future authorities of Syria could not include [President] Bashar al-Assad. "He has no place in Syria’s future," Khoja said. "As for the regime’s participation in the settlement, considering that the regime voluntarily gave the Islamic State group control over the territory, it cannot be a partner in the fight against terrorism," Khoja added.

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