The Syrian regime agreed to hold talks with opposition in Moscow according to a report from the Russian capital.
But Al Arabiya TV quoted a key member of the opposition as saying ” We will reject the invitation to hold dialogue talks with the regime as soon as we receive it from the Russians “.
Meanwhile France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppe will reportedly address the UN Security Council in New York on Tuesday in an effort to push through an Arab-backed resolution for political change in Syria.
“The minister will be in New York on Tuesday to convince the Security Council to meet its responsibilities as the crimes against humanity committed by the regime get worse,” French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said on Monday.
Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed on Monday that the Syrian authorities have agreed to take part in talks in Moscow mediated by Russia, and Russia hopes the Syrian opposition will also agree take part.
Moscow, a permanent United Nations Security Council member with veto powers, has reportedly offered to host the talks in an effort to end bloodshed since protests began against President Bashar Assad’s rule 10 months ago.
Another senior member of the Syrian opposition council told Reuters separately that no invitation had been received from Moscow and that it would be refused anyway.
“We have not received any offer like that officially and I think, if such an offer exists, it will be no more than an attempt to influence the (UN) Security Council. But I say clearly that our position has not changed and it is that there is no dialogue with (President Bashar Assad),” Abdel Baset Seda, a member of the Syrian council’s executive committee, told Reuters.
According to the Syrian coordination committee 39 people were killed so far on Monday by the Syrian security forces .
Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby left for New York on Sunday where he will brief representatives of the Security Council on Tuesday, seeking support for the Arab peace plan, which calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
France and Britain crafted the resolution in consultation with Qatar and Morocco, as well as Germany, Portugal and the United States. It is intended to supersede a Russian draft that Western delegations say is too accommodating to Assad and also no longer relevant in light of the recent Arab League proposals.