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Syrian gov't allows exiled opposition to return home for dialogue, rebels intensify attacks


14:47, January 25, 2013

DAMASCUS, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government has called on the exiled opposition to return home to participate in a national dialogue to end the 22-month conflict, as the rebels intensified attacks on a security branch and checkpoints in the countryside of the capital Damascus.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, Syria's Interior Ministry said the exiled opposition and other Syrians who have fled the country legally or illegally are permitted to come back through certain border points, adding that they would be provided with all facilitation, including the freedom to leave or stay in the country.

The announcement has come in coordination with the Ministry of National Reconciliation, the statement said.

The invitation to the exiled opposition came on the bases of recent proposals by President Bashar al-Assad, who has also talked about a ceasefire and the establishment of a broad-based government and parliament.

Syria's exiled opposition rejected any dialogue even from the very first months of the conflict. The various opposition factions, recently gathered under one umbrella, dismissed Assad's new vision for political solution and set his ouster as a prelude to any solution.

The friendly gesture on the government side was answered by intense fighting and explosions that have rocked several areas in the conflict-torn country.

An overnight blast rocked the suburb of Sa'sa near the capital Damascus on Thursday, leaving undisclosed number of causalities, the state-TV said, stopping short of giving further details.

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