BEIRUT: Syria's rebel chief and other top leaders have met in Turkey with peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi amid a renewed international push for peace talks, Free Syrian Army's Louay Muqdad said Friday.
"We had a meeting yesterday with Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, in which the leaders of the Free Syrian Army general staff participated along with the supreme military council and other commanders from inside Syria," Muqdad, the FSA political and media coordinator, told AFP.
FSA chief "General Selim Idriss reaffirmed that we are all striving for a solution and for the bloodshed to stop. He also said the root of the problem -- (President) Bashar al-Assad -- needs to be addressed," he added.
The meeting comes as UN-Arab League envoy Brahimi tours the region in a bid to build a consensus for holding a peace conference next month in Geneva between regime and rebel representatives.
The opposition insists that there will be no negotiations unless regime change and Assad's departure are on the table.
And Assad said Monday that the "factors are not yet in place" for the conference, dubbed Geneva 2 following an unsuccessful one last year.
He has also regularly dismissed talks with any opponents with ties to foreign states or to the rebels fighting his troops.
According to Muqdad, Idriss "insisted the FSA wants a democratic, free state in Syria, the fall of the (Assad) regime, the establishment of a transitional government and for the criminals to be tried."
"We want a solution, but it must begin with making the killers accountable," Muqdad said.
Although Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi has said Geneva 2 would begin on November 23, Brahimi has said there could be no talks without a "credible" opposition presence.
More than 115,000 people have been killed in Syria's 31-month war, and millions more have been forced to flee their homes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.