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    A Syrian election official waits for voters at a polling station with posters of President Bashar Assad during the parliamentary election in Damascus, Syria

    Assad's Fate Must Be Discussed at Ongoing Geneva Talks - HNC

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    Middle East
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    According to an official HNC representative Salem Al-Meslet, Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee insists that President Bashar Assad's fate must be raised at the April round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) The Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee insists that President Bashar Assad's fate must be raised at the April round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, and Russia could have a solution to the issue, official HNC representative Salem Al-Meslet told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "The fate of Assad should be discussed here, at the same moment that we discuss transitional government," he said. "The future of Assad should be discussed here, and I believe there are countries who have in mind their solutions. I believe Russia has a solution for Assad. We don't know what it is, but I believe they should really talk about it this time."

    "Assad is involved in killing Syrians. But we are not judges here…we will send Assad to court and he will get his trial there. We don't want to execute people and be like Daesh. But Assad deserves a trial," Al-Meslet added.

    The Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) has not changed its attitude toward other opposition groups at the Geneva talks and believes that anyone supporting incumbent President Bashar Assad cannot be considered opposition, spokesman Salem Al-Meslet said.

    HNC believes that some members of Moscow-Cairo and Hmeimim opposition groups represent the side of the current Syrian government, and therefore HNC insists on its exclusive right to represent the opposition at the talks.

    "Whether our team is 15, 20 or 25 people [does not matter]. But do we have a serious team on the other side? We do not accept people who are sent by the regime, calling themselves opposition," Al-Meslet said, asked whether at this round of talks HNC is considering creating a joint delegation of opposition, as Damascus insists.

    He added that some of other opposition groups claim they would vote for current president Bashar Assad. "Are they opposition? I don't think so."

    He noted, however, that the HNC has meetings and connections with other opposition delegations in Geneva.

    "We have connections with all of these groups. These people represent Syrians and they are with us here in the team," Al-Meslet said.

    "We have to differentiate between people who are opposition and people who are on the side of the regime and who fully support the crimes of the regime. These people cannot be opposition. They should be sitting next to Jaafari [head of the Damascus delegation]," he added.


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