Syria says it will join June peace talks

BAGHDAD, May 26 (UPI) -- Syria's foreign minister said Sunday the embattled regime of President Bashar Assad is ready to join negotiations on ending the bloody rebellion in the country.

Walid al-Moallem told reporters in Iraq the Assad government would send a delegation to the talks in Switzerland next month.


"I informed the Iraqi prime minister of Syria's decision that the government agreed in principle to send an official delegation to the Geneva Peace conference that will take place in June," said al-Moallem, who was in Baghdad for meetings with his Iraqi counterpart.

Al-Moallem said the solution to the ongoing violence would have to be worked out among Syrians without foreign participation.

"From the beginning of the crisis, I assured that Syria believes that dialogue among the Syrians is the only solution to Syria," he said.

The United Nations has estimated the uprising against the Assad regime has left 70,000 Syrians dead and turned 1.5 million into refugees.

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