Syrian gov't to convey Assad's 'directives' during Geneva II

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Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Sunday that the Syrian government will participate in the upcoming Geneva II peace conference and will convey the "directives" of President Bashar al-Assad, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad 

"We will go to Geneva after several days and will convey the directives of President Bashar al-Assad, who has the final say in Syria," Mekdad said.

Stressing that Syria's fate is determined by the Syrians only, Mekdad said that those who spread terrorism will reap the killings and destruction in their own countries, particularly the United States, Saudi Arabia, France and other western countries which claim to be fighting terrorism while actually supporting it in Syria, according to SANA.

Mekdad's remarks came as Ahmad Jarba, the leader of Syria's opposition National Coalition, said Sunday that the international meeting of the so-called "Friends of Syria" agreed that al-Assad and his family will have no role in the country's future.

While the coalition has not given its final decision about its participation in Geneva II, its leaders said they will decide on the issue on Jan. 17.

The Syrian government has repeatedly said it will participate in the meeting without preconditions and has rejected the opposition's requests of al-Assad's departure.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said recently that there is a popular desire for the re-election of Assad in the presidential elections slated for July, 2014.

The Geneva II conference, slated on Jan. 22, is aimed at engaging warring Syrian parties to seek a solution to the prolonged crisis. 

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