OFFERS GENERAL AMNESTY FOR ‘CRIMES COMMITTED BEFORE OCT 29’
DAMASCUS, Oct 30 — Syria will take part in the upcoming Geneva II international conference, Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem said Tuesday.
During a meeting with visiting UN-Arab League joint special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, the Syrian minister said that Syria would participate in the Geneva II conference based on the Syrian people’s “exclusive” right to draw their political future and to choose their leadership, reported Xinhua.
While stressing that the dialogue should be based on rejecting any form of foreign intervention, the minister said the dialogue should be between and led by the Syrians.
For his part, Brahimi stressed that the Syrians are the ones who could decide the shape of the transitional period in their country.
The envoy made the remarks a day after an Arab newspaper misquoted him when speaking about the role of President Bashar al-Assad in the transitional period in Syria.
“What was published in the Arabic newspapers was not accurate and the translation was not accurate,” Brahimi said, stressing that “we are preparing for Geneva conference, and Geneva conference is basically a meeting between the Syrian parties and the Syrian parties are the ones who are going to identify the transitional period and the post-transitional period, not me.”
Brahimi flew in a day earlier to meet with top Syrian officials and opposition groups regarding the upcoming international conference on Syria planned to convene in Geneva by the end of November.
The conference is designed to bring the opposition and the government around the negotiation table to hammer out a political solution to the country’s long-standing crisis.
Meanwhile a media report said that President Assad granted a general amnesty, covering crimes committed before Oct 29.
The new presidential pardon covers crimes mentioned in the military service law, including those of fleeing from the mandatory service, reported Xinhua, spelling no further details whether the pardon covers other crimes aside from the military ones.
Assad has earlier issued many pardons that covered many crimes in addition to the military ones.
The fresh move came as preparations for the Geneva II conference on Syria which seeks to find a political solution to the long-standing conflict in the country.–IANS