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Syria says arming rebels will prolong war
June 24, 2013 / 10:48 AM / 4 years ago

Syria says arming rebels will prolong war

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria plans to attend proposed international peace talks as a means to agree a national government of “genuine partnership” but will not participate in order to hand over power to the opposition, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem arrives in Baghdad May 26, 2013. REUTERS/Hadi Mizban /Pool

Moualem said if the proposed talks in Geneva went ahead there should be a ceasefire and authorities in Damascus were ready to discuss mechanisms for monitoring it.

He called on Syria’s neighbours to stop arming rebels battling to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and said a decision by Western and Arab countries on Saturday to arms those rebels would prolong the crisis and deepen the bloodshed.

Editing by Janet Lawrence

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