Syria calls all parties to engage in crisis-solving process

2013-02-17 12:49:25 GMT2013-02-17 20:49:25(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

DAMASCUS, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Prime Minister Wael al- Halqi has called on all components of the Syrian people to engage in a political process on the Syrian soil to end the country's long-standing crisis in accordance to the political vision outlined recently by President Bashar al-Assad.

The minister's remarks came during a cabinet session Sunday aired live on the state TV, during which al-Halqi said his government has given assurances to make the political process a success, stressing that "no one would be excluded from the dialogue... We will not exclude anyone."

The Syrian government is working to establish the political program on the Syrian soil and is serious about embarking on a national dialogue, he said, noting that the political plan put forward by Assad was based on "national goals."

For his side, Syrian Parliament Speaker Jihad al-Laham noted that the national dialogue constitutes the base of the political program and "we all should work within its framework to resolve the crisis."

"We are confronting an enemy that has sneaked in with the help of foreign powers," al-Laham said, stressing that "we are facing a great challenge to preserve the unity of Syria and the dignity of the citizens."

In his latest televised speech to the nation, Assad offered a three-phase initiative to politically resolve the crisis, which includes a cease-fire, a comprehensive national dialogue on a " national charter", and the establishment of a broad-based government and parliament.

The president also described the conflict as one not between the authority and the opposition, but "between the nation and our enemies," calling for the defense of the country.

On the opposition side, Moaz al-Khatib, head of the main opposition coalition abroad, has recently declared his readiness to embark on negotiations with the Syrian government so long as the negotiations will result in the departure of the current administration.

The government said earlier that the dialogue should not be based on preconditions and stressed that any dialogue should be held on the Syrian soil.

In the meantime, international special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi proposed Sunday that the government and the opposition hold initial dialogue sessions at the UN headquarters as a prelude to open the gate for ending the crisis.

Speaking in a press conference in Cairo, Brahimi also hailed al- Khatib's initiative for dialogue to bring an end to the two-year- old deadly conflict, which has claimed the lives of more than 70, 000 people since March 2011.

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