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Change of int'l climate revives hope for political resolution to Syrian crisis (2)


09:13, February 04, 2013

Responding to al-Khatib's remarks, Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar said the doors for dialogue are open to everyone desirous for a political dialogue with no exception, stressing that the basis of dialogue should be based on halting violence.

Regarding al-Khatib's condition for the release of 160,000 detainees, Haidar said the number is exaggerated and demanded the opposition send a list of names, stressing his readiness to deal with the issue.

The minister repeated the government's recent commitment to providing all facilitation to the Syrians abroad to return home and take part in the national dialogue.

Still, despite the positive shift toward a political solution, the broad-based opposition is still divided over al-Khatib's sudden "change of plan."

Samir Nashar, a leading member of the oppositional Syrian National Council, indicated that Khatib's remarks were personal, expressing astonishment over his renewed statements.

However, he highlighted that the opposition hasn't yet come to a united stance, referring to the division between al-Khatib and other broad-based opposition about talks with the Syrian regime.

Saleh Muslib, a member of the Damascus-based oppositional National Coordination Body, said "we haven't said no to the dialogue but there were conditions for the dialogue to be real and objective." He added that the violence and fighting must stop by all parties.

The recent developments followed an apparent shift in the stances of some superpowers. Recent statements made by regional and foreign leaders have buoyed the conviction that most countries, even those that have for long called for the overthrow of the Syrian government, have become increasingly concerned about the prolonged crisis in Syria and the rising danger of Islamists.

Jordan's King Abdullah, who has at the beginning of the crisis called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, said lately that whoever believes that the Syrian President will fall within weeks doesn't understand the complicated situation and the balance of forces.

He added that one of the major problems is that al-Qaida fighters have set up bases in Syria last year and they are getting funds and equipment from abroad.

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