Syria’s foreign minister Walid Muallem said on Saturday that the Syrian delegation is refusing the U.S. request for direct negotiations with the rebels unless Secretary of State John Kerry apologize for his remarks at the Geneva II talks.
“The Americans asked us to negotiate directly with them in Montreux,” Muallem told Syrian state reporters during the flight home from 10 days of talks in Switzerland.
In his opening remarks at the conference, Kerry said that Syria’s embattled President Bashar Assad “will not be part” of the next Syrian government.
“There is no way, not possible in the imagination, that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain legitimacy to govern,” Kerry said.
It’s hard to believe how unskilled this man is in the art of speaking to folks who aren’t from Boston.
According to the Syrian state news agency SANA, Muallem said his delegation refused to come back for direct talks with the opposition “before Secretary of State John Kerry apologized for what he said at the conference.”
I’ll bet Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who had to apologize to the self same John Kerry for pointing out his messianic complex and his carving for the Nobel Peace Prize, will enjoy watching his nemesis eating crow.
Muallem was also not buying the whole “coalition of the so-called ‘opposition'” business.
“If they do not abandon their illusions, they will get a rude shock because we are a country of institutions and a constitution and we have a president of the republic,” he said on Saturday.
Muallem said it was “a stain” on the opposition that they refused to sign a declaration condemning “terrorism” in the country.
See? That’s how you deal with rebellion in the Middle East. First, you get America out of the picture.
According to AFP, more than 136,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011, and more than 2.4 million Syrians have become refugees.
On Friday morning, Hundreds of Syrians gathered in front of the UN’s Headquarters in Geneva to express their support for the motherland, Syria, its army and Syria’s official delegation to Geneva 2 conference, SANA reported.
Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told the participants in the march that the Assad government is prepared to deal with the opposition on the matter of “love of the homeland and drawing its future.”
136,000 dead so far – that’s a lot of love.