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Syrian President Says He's Ready for Talks but Not with Terrorists

Damascus, October 7 (RHC)-- Syria's President Bashar al-Assad says he is ready for a planned international peace conference on the crisis in his country, but stresses that he will not negotiate with terrorists.

In an interview with the Damascus-based Tishreen newspaper, Assad said: "We don't have conditions except that we reject to negotiate with terrorists," unless they lay down their arms and condemn calls for a foreign military strike against Syria.

The Syrian president pointed out that the biggest victory for his country could be achieved by overcoming the foreign-backed mercenaries. "What is important is to believe in this victory... when faith exists inside all of us that we are capable of achieving victory, certainly we would achieve that victory."

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the violence.

Russia and the United States have agreed to convene an international conference on Syria which is likely to be held in Geneva in mid-November. The event will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June last year.

Edited by Juan Leandro
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