Damascus: Opposition can return if ready for dialogue

Damascus: Opposition can return if ready for dialogue

Damascus said Thursday it would allow opposition leaders living in exile to return to the country if they are ready to participate in a national dialogue, DPA reported.

The announcement came as Jordan launched an urgent aid appeal to cope with the Syrian refugee crisis.

In a statement posted on the Syrian state-run news agency SANA, the Interior Ministry said: "It is allowed to all Syrian opposition leaders living abroad who have the desire to participate in the national dialogue to enter Syria regardless of the documents they bear through Damascus international airport, all border points."

"Orders have been given to all border checkpoints to facilitate the entrance of the returnees," the government said.

Damascus called on all Syrian citizens who left the country because of the conflict, whether legally or illegally, to return.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a speech on January 6 called for a national dialogue to end the 22-month conflict in the country, but stressed that he would not talk to those who have taken up arms against his regime.

He spelled out a transition plan, but insisted that any decision must be purely Syrian and ratified by referendum, including a "national charter" that would be agreed on in a national dialogue conference.

He did not say he was prepared to leave power, a key demand by the opposition groups.

Walid al Buni, spokesman of The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, a coalition of Syrian opposition groups founded in Doha in November, dismissed the call as a new "stupid manoeuvre" by the regime.

"What dialogue they are talking about, a dialogue a criminal regime has set for its people ..., " al Buni told dpa.

The call for return came as violence mounted across Syria and the influx of refugees continued to increase into neighboring countries like Jordan and Lebanon.

Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said he had called for urgent support from international donors to help Jordan deal with an "unprecedented" number of Syrian refugees. A record 6,000 crossed on Tuesday alone.

Earlier this month, Jordan reported 285,000 Syrian refugees, more than half of those displaced by the conflict.

The influx has pushed Jordan's lone Syrian refugee camp well beyond its 60,000-person capacity.

Lebanon, another country hosting an estimated 200,000 Syrians, is to ask for 270 million dollars at a conference of donors on Syria on January 30 in Kuwait, Lebanese newspaper An Nahar reported Thursday.

In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad was shown on state television attending a public ceremony marking the anniversary of the birth of the prophet Mohammed.

His appearance, the first since January 6, coincided with an official call for "million-man prayers" in mosques on Friday to appeal for re-establishing security in the country ravaged by nearly two years of bloodshed.

"Prayers will be held after Friday services in Syria's mosques for return of security and safety in the homeland," Minister of Religious Endowments Mohammed Abdel Settar said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA.

At least 90 people were killed Thursday in Syria, mainly in the rebellious central city of Homs and the northern province of Aleppo, said opposition activists.

Among the dead were 25 people killed in bombardments by government warplanes on the town of al-Qusair in Homs district, reported the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Thirty-five died, among them six children, in various clashes across Aleppo.

"The regime troops are carrying out an ethnic cleansing in the area," said George Sabra, the head of the Syrian National Council, which comprises opposition politicians living in exile.

"The regime uses the most criminal methods by shelling urban areas, blocking areas to prevent delivery of food and medical supplies and sending loyal sectarian militia to massacre entire districts and villages," Sabra added.

News from Syria is hard to verify as authorities have barred most media from the country since the start of the uprising

Oil prices hit 13-month highs on tighter supplies, Fed assurance on low rates
Oil prices hit 13-month highs on tighter supplies, Fed assurance on low rates
U.S. report on Khashoggi death expected to single out Saudi crown prince
U.S. report on Khashoggi death expected to single out Saudi crown prince
Egypt plans to order 10 mln Sputnik V doses from Russia
Egypt plans to order 10 mln Sputnik V doses from Russia
Loading Bars
Iran's Minister of Tourism explains health protocols in coming Nowruz trips
N. Macedonia’s ICT sector may be attractive for Azerbaijani investors – minister
Another Italian municipality officially condemns Khojaly genocide against Azerbaijani civilians
Iran's Rouhani asks US to pave way for talks
Iranian gov't, Expediency Council hold another meeting on FATF bills
N. Macedonia names energy, tourism most productive sectors for co-op with Azerbaijan
N.Macedonia, Azerbaijan negotiating on trade agreement
Oil prices hit 13-month highs on tighter supplies, Fed assurance on low rates
Iran and US negotiate only within JCPOA framework
Australian media reforms pass parliament after last-ditch changes
Decrease in bank lending observed in Baku and Azerbaijani districts
Appeals to consulting organizations in Azerbaijan growing dynamically - Azecoconsulting
Azerbaijan Industrial Corporation aiming to restructure portfolio
China becomes Uzbekistan’s main foreign trade partner
Azerbaijan's Central Bank publishes latest data on population's bank deposits
Azerbaijan discloses share of household loans in total lending
Azerbaijani State Migration Service opens tender to buy air transport services
Kazakhstan to reduce VAT for new manufacturing companies
New Turkish ambassadors to Washington, Tokyo officially appointed
Municipal transport to operate on weekends in Georgia
Tariffs on Eurasia trades to go zero: Iranian Official
Number of COVID-19 cases in Kazakhstan surpasses 210,000
Biden to press for $37 billion to boost chip manufacturing amid shortfall
Participation of Azerbaijani SMEs in public procurement to be encouraged
U.S. report on Khashoggi death expected to single out Saudi crown prince
Egypt plans to order 10 mln Sputnik V doses from Russia
Kazakhstan, Poland trade decreases amid COVID-19
Germany grants special approval for first COVID-19 self-test kits
Ford CEO calls on U.S. government to support EV batteries, charging
Swiss logistics giant to partner with Chinese company in vaccine storage and distribution
Japan's cabinet green-lights bill to ratify RCEP trade deal
Kazakhstan increases imports of Sweden-made goods
Kazakh Karachaganak Petroleum Operating paying particular focus to "green" technologies
Kazakhstan's Kcell mobile telecom services provider to de-list its GDRs
Azerbaijan - leader among neighboring countries for index of sustainable development goals
Israel's hi-tech services exports up 19 pct in 2020
Conditions for Int’l cooperation changing - Rouhani
Kazakh airlines eye boosting jet fuel imports
Uzbekistan notes decrease in mining production
COVID-19 greatly affects cargo transportation by vehicles in Azerbaijan's transportation sector
Head of Georgian Governmental Administration quits
Turkey registers more than 9 500 new coronavirus cases
Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine closes in on U.S. approval
Pashinyan shows anti-Russia stance, denigrates 'Iskander' missile fired on Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani FM, European commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement discuss situation in region
Azerbaijani FM meets Ukrainian deputy FM (PHOTO)
Visitors show great interest in Azerbaijani products at Gulfood 2021 exhibition (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan discloses amount of investments in economy of Turkic-speaking states
Assistant to Azerbaijani president meets with Ukrainian deputy minister for foreign affairs (PHOTO)
Japan eyes to support development of Georgian agrarian potential
Airlines expanding their activities in Georgia
Georgia reports three cases of UK coronavirus strain
Azerbaijan talks state-supported domestic SME market researches for 2020
Iran's Khatam Al-Anbia Headquarters to begin second phase of Chabahar port development project
Georgia to receive AstraZeneca Vaccine from South Korea and India
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of technological equipment
Port of Baku records growth in annual turnover despite pandemic
Uzbekneftegaz to accelerate sale of gas stations serving farms
Azerbaijan sees growth of long-term loans to legal entities in real estate sector
Kazakhstan's Parliament approves amendments to bill on uranium mining
Iran's Shahid Tondgooyan Petrochemical Company fulfills its production plan
Georgian Hualing FIZ to begin serial production of furniture
Ukraine International Airlines receives permission to operate flights to Baku
New free economic zone established in Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan
Precious metal prices down in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani industrial sector's lending notably grows
Turkmenistan's Project CA Desert Initiative opens tender for purchase of motorcycles
Inspectorate International Ltd. wins tender launched by Azerbaijani mining company
Turkish, Azerbaijani, and Turkmen FMs adopt joint statement following trilateral meeting (PHOTO)
Programs of Azerbaijani Communications Ministry to raise local startups to world standards
Uzbekistan to sale jewelry via e-commerce
Azerbaijan's Jan. 2021 import of goods increases
Azerbaijan sees multifold growth in bank mortgage lending
Georgia eases some COVID-19 restrictions
Marketed gas production resources set to change by 2050
Azerbaijan discloses volume of goods exported in Jan. 2021
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for February 24
JCPOA signatories require to take big steps towards commitments - Iranian MP
Iran to jointly produce COVID-19 vaccine with Russia by March
Azerbaijan talks use of 'smart' services in liberated lands
Most of lending in communications and transport sector accounts for foreign currency in Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan's banking sector faces pressure from global economic slowdown
Iran declares volume of exports-imports via Shahid Bahonar port revealed
Denmark to ease some COVID-19 restrictions from March 1
Georgia simplifies entry rules for citizens of Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Ukraine
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender to rent lifting equipment
Iran to export five pharmaceutical products
Kazakhstan's Karachaganak Gas Debottlenecking Project progresses despite COVID-19
Turkmenistan prepares to harvest licorice root
Karachaganak Petroleum Operating reports historical maximum liquid production
Iran to begin its human trial phase of Razi Cov-Pars vaccine
Central Bank of Iran allocates funds to buy Indian COVID-19 vaccine
German economy to shrink some 1.5% in early 2021
Iranian social media influencers to pay tax
Azerbaijan reports 145 more COVID-19 recoveries
South Korea grounds all local airlines' Boeing 777s with PW4000 engines
Azerbaijan's Innovation Agency becomes first full-fledged member of IASP in region
Huawei's solutions to help communication operators to simplify 5G network deployment
Azerbaijan reveals Jan. 2021 crude oil exports to Croatia
War crimes of chief of Armenia's General Staff - new facts revealed
All news