Assad says won’t attend negotiations, majority of Syrians support him

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during a TV interview in Damascus.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during a TV interview in Damascus.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he will not join negotiations and that he has the majority backing of Syrians, in an interview transcript published by state media.

Asked whether he would be willing to join negotiations called for by world powers by Jan. 1, he said: “They want the Syrian government to negotiate with terrorists, something I don’t think anyone would accept in any country.”

“Whenever they want to change their approach, give up the armaments, we are ready, while to deal with them as a political entity, this is something we completely refuse,” he said in response to another question about whether he would be willing to negotiate with opposition groups that met in Riyadh this week.

Assad also said he “never thought of leaving” his country “under any circumstances.”


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