Opposition divided on dialogue
[FRANCE24] It also came as an offer by opposition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib for peace talks with Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir
The Scourge of Hama...
regime suffered setbacks, with Damascus
City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti...
ignoring it and a key opposing faction flatly rejecting the initiative.
The surprise gesture by Khatib, head of the opposition National Coalition, was welcomed by the United States and the Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
, and was expected to receive the backing of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
International Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi welcomed the "positive" offer but warned it was not enough for a political solution.
Asked if he could see an end in sight to Syria's bloodshed -- which according to UN figures has killed over 60,000 people in nearly two years -- the UN-Arab League envoy told the French daily La Croix: "Not for the moment."
Assad himself has yet to comment on the offer by Khatib, who stepped up the pressure to engage in talks by setting the regime a deadline of Sunday for the release of all women held in Syrian prisons.
"The demand that the women are released means that if there is one single woman still in prison in Syria on Sunday, I consider that the regime has rejected my initiative," Khatib told BBC Arabic.
The Syrian National Council, the main component of the Coalition, has rejected the possibility of any talks, saying it is committed to ousting Assad's regime, rejecting dialogue with it, and protecting the revolution.
But Khatib, who last week called on Assad to agree to let Vice President Faruq al-Sharaa open peace talks with his coalition, appealed for the opposition to "declare our willingness to negotiate" the regime's departure.
Addressing an OIC summit in Cairo, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi called on opposition factions "to coordinate with this coalition and support their efforts for a unified approach... for democracy".
Short Round Ahmadinejad, who al-Assad counts as one of his last allies, became the first Iranian president to attend the meeting since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Posted by: Fred 2013-02-08