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Syria: Terzi-Hijab meeting – conflict worsens, but hopes for truce

The Syrian conflict “is worsening in an extremely dramatic manner”, Minister Giulio Terzi explained to journalists, referring to a meeting at the foreign ministry with former Syrian premier Riad Hijab, who abandoned the regime in August. Terzi said that Damascus is not “willing” to engage in dialogue and “the future promises to be a very dark one if the conditions are not found among the various opposition groups” for a “common platform” from which to launch a “transition”.



Possible ceasefire a step forward


As for the possibility proposed by special UN envoy Lakhtar Brahimi of a ceasefire in coincidence with the Islamic festival of sacrifice that begins on Friday, Terzi stressed that “Brahimi says that this would be a very small step on which to build, and that to me seems an assessment to be considered”.



Rapid and decisive actions needed


Former Syrian premier Riad Hijab stated that the Syrian regime “is not ready to negotiate” and for that reason “rapid and decisive” actions are needed, i.e. “international pressure from the UN Security Council forcing the regime to put an end to this tragedy”.


In any case, he added, “the only solution is to bring Assad down”, because the Syrian people, who have suffered “tens of thousands of deaths”, “have passed the point of no return”. Hijab then explained the reasons that led to his abandoning the regime: “I had hoped for national reconciliation, dialogue with the opposition, but when that hope vanished I decided to flee with my family to Jordan, and of this choice I am still convinced”.

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