Middle East

Assad says 'factors not in place' for Syria peace talks

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (centre L) meets with Women's International Democratic Federation delegation (WID), headed by Marcia Campos (centre R) in Damascus October 21, 2013, in this handout photo distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA

BEIRUT: President Bashar al-Assad of war-torn Syria said the "factors are not yet in place" to launch peace talks with his opponents, in a television interview broadcast on Monday.

"No time has been set, and the factors are not yet in place if we want (a US-Russian peace initiative dubbed Geneva 2) to succeed," Assad told Lebanese channel Al-Mayadeen.

"Which forces are taking part? What relation do these forces have with the Syrian people? Do these forces represent the Syrian people, or do they represent the states that invented them?" the embattled leader asked.





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