Assad: Britain is exacerbating conflict

March 3, 2013 at 1:52 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, March 3 (UPI) -- President Bashar Assad of Syria said that the British government is acting in a naive manner and is not helping his efforts to end the ongoing violence.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Assad accused the British government of wanting to send military supplies to terrorists.

"I think that they are working against us and working against the interest of the U.K. itself," Assad said. "This government is acting in a naive, confused and unrealistic manner."

During the interview, Assad said he is ready to negotiate with Syrian rebels in an attempt to end the conflict in the country, but said he will not talk with armed rebels.

"We can engage in dialogue with the opposition, but we cannot engage in dialogue with terrorists," he said.

He said he doesn't want U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to play a part in the negotiations, and said only Syrians should be part of the discussions.

"Any Syrian subject would not be raised with any foreigners," he said, adding that if Kerry does want to help, he should work to end the funding and aiding of terrorists.

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