News / Middle East

Syria: Report on Assad Quotes 'Inaccurate'

FILE - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
FILE - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
VOA News
Syrian state media have dismissed as "inaccurate" a report that President Bashar al-Assad told visiting Russian lawmakers he has no intention of giving up power and the issue is not up for discussion.

The conflicting reports come just days ahead of an internationally sponsored peace conference on Syria.

The Russian news agency Interfax had quoted Mr. Assad as saying "if we had wanted to give up, we would have surrendered from the start."

"This issue is not up for discussion," he reportedly said Sunday in remarks translated into Russian.

Syria's government and the opposition are due to participate in peace talks in Switzerland beginning Wednesday, with Mr. Assad's role in Syria's future expected to be a key stumbling block.

  • Fighters from the Free Syrian Army's Saif al-Umayyad brigade prepare rockets to be launched towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Jan. 16, 2014.
  • Men ride a motorbike past buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Daraya, Jan. 15, 2014.
  • Smoke rises from buildings after what activists said was shelling from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 15, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters walk at the Tameko pharmaceutical factory after the FSA claimed to have taken control of the factory, in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • A girl carries her belongings as she walks on rubble at a site hit by what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Arbeen, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • This SANA photo shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking to female preachers from mosques in Damascus and its countryside and educators of religious high schools and institutes in Damascus, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • Syrian refugees wait to enter Turkey on the Syrian-Turkish border in Shamm Alqrain village, Jan. 13, 2014.
  • Smoke rises from what activists said were explosive barrels thrown from helicopters on Daria outside Damascus, Jan. 12, 2014.
  • Damaged buildings are pictured in the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 12, 2014.
  • Residents inspect the damage caused by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant suicide bombers at the Tawhid Brigade and Al-Fateh brigade headquarters in Aleppo, Jan. 12, 2014.

The Geneva 2 meeting aims to create a transitional government with full executive powers.

While few expect the talks will reach this goal, its supporters are hoping the discussions will at least result in increased humanitarian access and local cease-fires to make life easier for Syrian civilians.

The Syrian National Coalition - the country's main political opposition grouping in exile - has agreed to attend the talks. A senior SNC official said its leadership will meet later Sunday in Istanbul to name members of the delegation.

The Coalition was under huge pressure from its Western and Arab sponsors to attend the peace talks and its decision to go was welcomed by the United States, Britain and Russia.

But the SNC has little influence on the ground in Syria and many rebel military units have rejected its authority.

The Syrian government considers all rebel forces to be terrorists, and has tried to shift the focus of the talks from forming a new government to fighting extremism.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: alhassan fofanah from: luanda angola
January 22, 2014 2:47 AM
dear voa,pleased tell the humanright lawyer to shutup, why cant he collect pictures from gtm prison were mass of abuse is happen everyday ,everyhour ,everyminite ,doublestandard,assad is fighing the same terrie help. tran ,and finance by usa, these guy will endup at your doorstep,the end will justifie the means.what goes around comes around,


by: Anonymous
January 20, 2014 6:28 PM
No surprise to any of us but... Now he must be disabled.

A team of internationally renowned war crimes prosecutors and forensic experts has found "direct evidence" of "systematic torture and killing" by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, the lawyers on the team say in a new report.

Their report, based on thousands of photographs of dead bodies of alleged detainees killed in Syrian government custody, would stand up in an international criminal tribunal, the group says.


by: Nicholas A. Boateng from: Kumasi- Ghana
January 19, 2014 7:30 PM
Ban Ki Moon has woefully failed! He should bow down his head in shame! Innocent human beings are being butchered everyday, and the world body is just looking on, why? This animal called Assad is killing innocent women, children,and you are happy collecting your salaries every month! Wicked leaders !!!!


by: Anonymous
January 19, 2014 2:20 PM
He has to be arrested for his crimes, that is all there is to it.
Whether it be by the Syrians or the International Criminal Court, this guy killed tens of thousands of innocent unarmed civilians. It's time the world put the guy in cuffs and serve him his penalty. He has to pay for each and every Syrian he has murdered, period. The problem is, he doesn't see anything he has done (murdering unarmed men, women and children) as anything wrong. He now has to face those families now, in a judicial courtroom.

He is most definately in hiding , and trying to use the SAA to protect himself from prosecution. He knows he did the crimes, he isn't that stupid. (Even though he actually believes his own lies).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid