Syrian opposition leader renews call for dialogue

SyrianOpposition_1JNN 5 Feb 2013 Munich : A day after he met Iranian and Russian Foreign Ministers, the Head of the so-called Syrian Opposition , Syrian National Council, Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib said on Monday his hand was extended for dialogue.

“The ball is now in the regime’s court. They will either say yes or no,” Khatib said on Monday, following up on his surprise announcement last week that he was ready to meet government officials.

“I say to Bashar al-Assad: look into the eyes of your children and try to find a solution … We can help each other in the interest” of the people, Khatib added.

“The regime needs to take a clear position. We will extend our hands for the sake of the people, and in order to help the regime leave in peace,” he said.

While some opposition figures immediately denounced Khatib’s proposal as traitorous, he said on Monday he “rejected” the label.

“Our people are dying, and we will not allow that,” Khatib said.

He had on Sunday held talks with Iran’s Ali Akbar Salehi at a security conference in the southern German city of Munich, which the Iranian foreign minister on Monday said were to be continued.

“We had 45 (minutes) to an hour discussion which was very fruitful… and we committed ourselves to continue this discussion,” Salehi told a foreign-policy think-tank in Berlin.

Khatib also held a meeting in Munich on Sunday with Russia’s Sergei Lavrov, who while expressing an interest in “maintaining regular contact” with the opposition, also said the dissidents’ insistence on Assad going was “the main reason for the continuation of the Syrian tragedy.”

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