Assad ‘positive’ about political settlement in Geneva talks

Moscow, April 12 (IANS) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is upbeat about the possibility of reaching a peaceful solution to the country’s lingering crisis, a Russian lawmaker visiting Damascus said on Tuesday.

“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad positively assesses the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the situation in Syria within the framework of the Geneva dialogue,” Xinhua quoted Sergey Gavrilov as saying.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Monday reiterated his government’s readiness to attend the upcoming round of Geneva peace talks on Syria, saying the government was committed to attending the peace talks without preconditions.

He also stressed on the Syrians’ right to determine their future without foreign interference.

The latest round of Syrian peace talks, which started on March 14, was wrapped up in Geneva with a 12-point paper delivered to both sides for further consideration.

The next round of negotiations is expected to start off in Geneva on Wednesday, four days behind the original schedule.

More than 270,000 people have been reportedly killed in Syria and millions displaced since the conflict broke out in the country in March 2011.

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