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Austrian minister says Assad should take part in talks on Syrian settlement

September 24, 2015, 20:49 UTC+3 BERLIN
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke for dialogue with the Syrian president
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© AP Photo/SANA, File

BERLIN, September 24. /TASS/. Syrian President Bashar Assad should take part in talks on Syrian settlement, Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told German radio station Bayerischer Rundfunk.

"Yes, Assad should be involved in the talks," Mikl-Leitner said.

At the same time, she said Assad "can’t be part of a solution" but "could play an important role on the way to a search for the solution."

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke for dialogue with the Syrian president.

"The talk is of the necessity to hold talks with many players, among them Assad, the United States, Russia and important regional partners," Merkel said last night in Brussels when answering a question from journalists on opportunities to settle the conflict in Syria.

"We won't be able to solve the conflict from outside, without involving regional countries," she underscored.

According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

An international peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States and designed to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, held in January and February 2014, brought no particular progress.

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