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Assad's resignation should not become precondition of dialogue: Syrian deputy PM

Arab World Materials 22 August 2012 02:26
Making the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad a precondition for an intra-Syrian dialogue was undemocratic, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said Tuesday in Moscow, Xinhua reported.
Assad's resignation should not become precondition of dialogue: Syrian deputy PM

Making the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad a precondition for an intra-Syrian dialogue was undemocratic, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said Tuesday in Moscow, Xinhua reported.

After talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Jamil told a press conference that Assad's resignation could only be discussed during a national dialogue.

"Making (Assad's) resignation a condition for the dialogue means that there will be no dialogue," Jamil said, adding that such an approach was "an attempt to impose on us certain decisions. "

"Any problem can be discussed in the dialogue, and even this issue (Assad's resignation) can be discussed too," Jamil said.

The senior official warned that the Western attempts to impose Assad's resignation on the Syrian people would set a "very dangerous precedent."

"If it happens in Syria, it will be a very dangerous precedent that could repeat itself in other parts of the world," he said.

Meanwhile, Jamil said that some Western governments' statement on Syria's chemical weapons was intended to provide a pretext for a possible invasion of Syria.

"The West is looking for a pretext to directly interfere in the affairs of our country," Jamil said, citing the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the 2003 U.S. invasion as an example.

He also described U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks on possible interference in Syria as election propaganda.

Obama on Monday warned the Syrian government against using chemical weapons in the conflict or letting them fall into the wrong hands, which he called a "red line."

This is the second time in August that a high-level Syrian government delegation has visited Moscow.

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