Syrian government not to negotiate with 'terrorists'

Damascus, Oct 21 (IANS) Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi has stressed on his country's readiness to participate in the planned Geneva II conference without preconditions, while stating that the Syrian government will not negotiate with " terrorists or Takfiris".

While stressing that the "political solution has been an original choice for the Syrian government since the beginning of aggression on Syria," al-Zoubi said Syria will not negotiate with terrorists who took part in shedding the Syrians' blood or their supporters, whether they were Syrians or not, Xinhua reported.

The Syrian government has, since the beginning of the crisis, accused regional and international powers of supporting the rebellion in Syria, which has turned into a sectarian conflict featuring al Qaeda-affiliated groups which are fighting against the Syrian administration.

The minister's remarks were made just hours after Arab League ( AL) chief Nabil al-Arabi said the second Syria peace conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland Nov. 23-24.

Al-Arabi said he was informed of the date by visiting UN-AL joint special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi at the Pan-Arab body' s headquarters in Cairo Sunday.

During their meeting, the two evaluated the regional and international efforts toward a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and discussed the current preparation for the conference and the contacts made with Syria's conflicting sides, especially with the national opposition coalition.

Cairo is the first leg of Brahimi's regional tour in preparation for the long-awaited peace conference, which has been delayed multiple times.

"The arrangements are being made to prepare for this conference, " Arabi told reporters after his meeting Brahimi.

However, the AL chief admitted that "a lot of challenges should be tackled to convene the conference".

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