Assad says he is ready to "negotiate everything"

The regime leader was speaking as Turkish and Russian delegates shape plans for peace talks proposed for later this month in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad speaks to French journalists in Damascus, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on January 9, 2017.

Updated Jan 10, 2017

Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad said nothing will be off the table at proposed peace talks in Kazakhstan, which Russia and Turkey are preparing.

“We are ready to negotiate everything. When you talk about negotiation regarding whether to end the conflict in Syria or the future of Syria, anything, it's fully open, there's no limit," Assad on Monday told French Media.

TRT World's Kilmeny Duchardt reports.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in December proposed new Syrian peace talks to be held in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana. The talks will complement ongoing talks in Geneva and aim to end years of conflict which have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands.

Asked if he was ready to discuss his position as president, Assad said "yes but my position is linked to the constitution ... If they want to discuss this point they must discuss the constitution."


Assad also said a ceasefire, brokered by Turkey and regime ally Russia, was being violated. He said his forces aim to recapture an area near Damascus, where rebels control the main water supply for the capital.

The regime and Iran-backed militias launched an attack two weeks ago to take back Wadi Barada, where a spring provides water to four million people in the capital.

Assad said that the regime had on Thursday rejected a local ceasefire that would have allowed for repairs to the water pumping station and for people to return to two nearby villages from which they had been displaced.

Meanwhile, as part of its Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkey continued to provide support to Free Syrian Army fighters engaging Daesh in al-Bab and northern Syria.

The Turkish army said on Monday that it killed at least 48 members of Daesh in the previous 24 hours in its bid to eliminate the terror threat on its border.

TRTWorld and agencies