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Assad to Stay in Power Until Elections – Minister

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Syrian President Bashar Assad will stay in power until his country is ready to vote in democratic elections, a Syrian minister who is taking part in talks with opposition forces said Friday.

GENEVA, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – Syrian President Bashar Assad will stay in power until his country is ready to vote in democratic elections, a Syrian minister who is taking part in talks with opposition forces said Friday.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said that if Assad were to leave office early, it would not solve the country’s problems.

“The president of Syria will stay in power until democratic elections in which everyone can take part are held. However, before organizing them, we will have to defeat terrorism in the country and stop the killing of civilians,” he said.

According to the minister, the government has three main priorities.

“Firstly, we need to exterminate real terrorists in the country, secondly – to help the Syrian people and to have sanctions lifted. And, thirdly, we need to hold democratic and free elections,” al-Zoubi said.

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