File - Atassi says the opposition has been forced into painful concessions.
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As a human rights lawyer and longtime pro-democracy activist in Syria, Suheir Atassi once said she would never negotiate with President Bashar Assad's government.Atassi is now one of two Syrian women on the opposition team in Geneva trying to negotiate an end to the civil war that has killed more than 130,000 people and displaced millions.Atassi and others said the opposition has not dropped its demand for Assad's ouster.Atassi accused members of the government's delegation headed by Syria's U.N. ambassador, Bashar Jaafari, of regularly insulting the opposition and accusing its members of being "agents" and "traitors".Atassi then continued her work with young revolutionaries and eventually went underground for nine months during which she says she changed locations seven times.Atassi noted that the opposition has been forced into painful concessions – including negotiations – to end the bloodshed.Atassi said the opposition is now giving Assad a way out by asking him to step aside in favor of a transitional governing body with full executive powers to administer the devastated country until elections are held.
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