BEIRUT: Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and leader of Syria's so called "internal opposition" Qadri Jamil has denied he told The Guardian newspaper the Syrian government will call for a ceasefire in the country.
Jamil told The Daily Star the report was "inaccurate" and that he was speaking in a personal capacity and on behalf of his party, and his comments should not have been presented as speaking on behalf of the government.
"I was speaking in a political and partisan capacity," he told The Daily Star via telephone from Damascus.
He said while he believed that "violence in general should stop,” he did not specifically call for a cease-fire at anticipated Geneva II talks.
"I was talking about stopping the violence in general. The Guardian statement should be completely disregarded."
On Jamil's reported comments that the war was at a stalemate and that "neither the armed opposition nor the regime is capable of defeating the other side," Jamil clarified that while he believed it was "impossible" for either side to win militarily, he put this down to foreign intervention.
"There should be an end to foreign intervention to stop the violence. As long as there are weapons flowing in to Syria, there is no hope of a cease-fire, " he told The Daily Star.
Referring to the Western-backed opposition, Jamil said that "another part of the opposition believed the West when they said that they could quickly achieve regime change."
"Now the West understands that intervention will not lead to a solution."
The Guardian newspaper Friday released a transcript of the interview in response to Jamil's denial.
The interviewer, Jonathan Steele, said, according to the transcript: “My tape-recorded question on Geneva was ‘Let's move on to the Geneva conference. What is the main priority for you in attending the Geneva conference? Will you propose a ceasefire immediately? Is that an idea?’
Jamil's reply, as translated by his interpreter, was: “Of course. The immediate ceasefire. First of all putting an end to external intervention, having a ceasefire and the launching of the peaceful, political process in a way that the Syrian people could enjoy self-determination without international intervention in a democratic way, and this process could take place under internal observation and international observation as well”.