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    March 12, 2016

    Syrian Foreign minister: "The president of Syria is for the Syrian people to choose"

    HellasForce, March 12, 2016
    Translated from Greek by Tom Winter

    The Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem emphasized that the presidency of Syria is a red line, and it's the Syrian people who are the ones to choose their president.

    Muallem, at his press conference Saturday asserted that the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Misura, has no right to be discussing presidential elections that are the exclusive property of the Syrian people. 

    He stated that the Syrian people are hopeful and have come to Geneva looking for the success of the talks, but that depends not just on the government, but on the other parties too.

    Muallem said that it is necessary to agree on the definition of the transition phase. "As we understand it the transition should cover crossing over from the existing constitution to a new constitution, and from the current government into a government that includes the other side."

    Muallem said Syria is ready to participate in the dialogue without setting prerequisites but yet he added that we "depart for Geneva without knowing with whom we will have this dialogue."

    He said that the current constitution will stay in place until a plebiscite has ratified the new constitution or a reformed one,  and emphasized that the parliamentary elections have nothing to do with events in Geneva. «The parliamentary elections are within the constitution and are to be respected" said Mouallem, and he called upon the citizens to go to the polls and vote en masse in the elections already proclaimed by Damascus.

    He asserted that the news was wrong about the Russian Foreign ministry speaking of a federalization, as Sergey Ryabkov himself said there was the precondition that all Syrians should agree on the matter. And "The Syrians reject any talk of federalization and insist on a unitary Syria," he concluded.

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