Syrian President Bashar Assad said Wednesday that no political resolution to the country’s bloody civil war can be reached unless foreign powers stop supporting the opposition seeking to oust him.
“The Syrian people alone are entitled to draw the future of Syria. Any solution must be approved by them and reflect their wishes away from any foreign intervention,” state television quoted Assad as saying to United Nations special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. “This is paramount to prepare the circumstances for dialogue and put clear mechanisms that achieve this goal.”
Assad met with Brahimi in Damascus — the first direct contact between the two men in almost a year — as a part of a diplomatic push ahead of peace talks in Geneva next month. Neither Assad’s government nor opposition leaders have yet committed to attend the peace conference, which aims to end the civil war that has taken more than 100,000 lives over almost three years.