China says all issues on table in Syria talks, including Assad's role
Published on Jan 23, 2014 6:03 AM
MONTREUX, Switzerland (REUTERS) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that talks to end the war in Syria should cover all topics of concern to the two sides, including the future of President Bashar al-Assad.
Asked about Mr Assad’s future, Mr Wang told reporters: “All issues of concern to the two sides should be put on the table including the one you mentioned just now.” He said the talks should begin by tackling the easiest issues and then move onto more difficult ones.
“I believe as long as the negotiation continues without disruption, then as the dialogue deepens and trust grows between the two parties, all issues should and can be resolved.”
Syria’s government and opposition, meeting for the first time, vented their mutual hostility on Wednesday and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem insisted Mr Assad’s future was not in question. “Nobody in this world has a right to withdraw legitimacy from a president or government ... other than the Syrians themselves,” he said.
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!