FM: Syria "ready" to engage in dialogue with opposition at Geneva II

Photo: FM: Syria "ready" to engage in dialogue with opposition at Geneva II / Arab World

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem said Friday that the Syrian government delegation to the Geneva II conference is "serious and ready" to start the dialogue process with the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Xinhua reported.

Al-Moallem made the remarks during his meeting with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, who is set to meet with the delegation of the SNC later, the official SANA news agency reported.

"Al-Moallem told Brahimi that the Syrian delegation is serious and ready to start (the dialogue) but apparently the other delegation (opposition) was not ready," SANA quoted an unnamed source as saying.

Al-Moallem also told Brahimi that if "serious working sessions" failed to be held on Saturday, the Syrian delegation would then pull out "due to the lack of seriousness and readiness by the opposition delegation," according to report.

The first session of dialogue between the delegations of the Syrian government and the SNC, which was slated to begin on Friday, may be delayed due to the division in the ranks of the SNC's delegation.

The Geneva II conference on Syria opened on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland. The Syrian official delegation demanded that the Geneva II focus on combating terrorism, while the SNC wanted a transitional government without any role for President Bashar al-Assad.

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