Lebanon News

Jumblatt hails Khatib’s call for dialogue with Assad regime

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt lights a candle and holds a paper with "Homs" written on it in Arabic. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt hailed Monday the proposal by the Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib to hold dialogue with representatives of the Assad regime.

“We must salute Khatib for his bold stance aimed at rescuing Syria from this regime which is killing its people in the worst ways,” said Jumblatt in his weekly stance to the PSP-owned Al-Anbaa website.

Khatib, who was elected as head of Syria’s National Opposition Coalition in November 2012, said last week that he is ready for dialogue with officials of Assad's regime subject to conditions, including that 160,000 detainees are released and that passports for exiled citizens be renewed in embassies abroad.

The opposition chief reiterated Monday his call for dialogue with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad but said it was now up to him to take the next step towards dialogue between Syria's warring parties.

“He may have an impossible mission in hands, but there doesn’t seem to be any alternatives to end the Syrian crisis other than resorting to the Geneva agreement,” said Jumblatt.

At a meeting on Syria in Geneva on June 30, foreign ministers from U.N. Security Council permanent member states and from countries neighboring Syria proposed establishing a transitional Syrian government that would comprise both the Syrian authorities and opposition forces.

According to Jumblatt, the Geneva agreement solution would necessarily bring about a transition period in Syria that inevitably calls for referring all of the Syrian president's authorities to the transitional government.

Jumblatt said that there is no solution other than that proposed by Khatib to end the bloodshed that has been going on for over 20 months in the war torn country.

“We should all support Khatib’s initiative given the international community and the Arab world's inaction over the daily crimes committed by the Syrian regime,” said Jumblatt.

“It has also become necessary for the countries that still support the Syrian regime, such as Iran and Russia, to help stop the war and implement the security solution in Syria,” he added.

Jumblatt also warned that Syria violence could spread to the entire region which entails endless problems, including the possibility of a regional war.





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