The Straits Times
Published on Dec 31, 2012

Syria backs 'any initiative' for talks to end conflict


DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syria's government on Monday welcomed any initiative for talks to end bloodshed in the country, after UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said he had a peace plan acceptable to all sides.

The Damascus regime's latest stand, expressed by Prime Minister Wael Al Halaqi, came amid a flurry of diplomatic activity led by Brahimi to find ways to end the 21-month conflict.

"The government is working to support the national reconciliation project and will respond to any regional or international initiative that would solve the current crisis through dialogue and peaceful means and prevent foreign intervention in Syria's internal affairs," Mr Halaqi told parliament.

Mr Halaqi emphasised the revolt against the regime of President Bashar Al Assad, which has cost an estimated 45,000 lives, must be resolved only by the Syrian people, "without external pressures or decrees".