Syria will not make 'any concessions' in Geneva talks: Minister

AFP , Friday 31 Jan 2014

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carry Syrian flags and portraits in front of the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva January 31, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Damascus will make "no concessions" in peace talks with the opposition, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said as a week of negotiations were wrapping up in Geneva.

"Neither in this round, nor in the next will they (the opposition and their allies) obtain any concessions from the Syrian delegation," Zohbi told a group of pro-regime demonstrators outside the UN's European headquarters in the Swiss city.

Several hundred demonstrators cheered, waving Syrian flags in all sizes and giant pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, shouting "Bashar forever!"

"They will not obtain any concessions, Israel has not been able to obtain any concession (from the Syrian regime) in half a century, terrorism has not been able to obtain any concession over the past three years, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the plotters in Lebanon have not managed to obtain any concession through force," he shouted.

"They will not get through politics what they couldn't get through force," he insisted, to thundering applause.

Delegations from Assad's regime and the opposition National Coalition have been locked in talks for the past week in the biggest diplomatic push yet to end a near nearly three-year civil war that has left more than 130,000 dead and forced millions from their homes.

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