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Syria’s Assad rebuffs Annan, troops attack Idlib

Reuters Lebanon  March 10, 2012

U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan (C), Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem (R) and Bouthaina Shaaban, adviser of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad attend a working lunch at a restaurant in the old Damascus March 10

President Bashar al-Assad told U.N./Arab League envoy Kofi Annan on Saturday that no political solution was possible in Syria while “terrorist” groups were destabilizing the country.

“Syria is ready to make a success of any honest effort to find a solution for the events it is witnessing,” state news agency SANA quoted Assad as telling his guest.

“No political dialogue or political activity can succeed while there are armed terrorist groups operating and spreading chaos and instability,” the Syrian leader said after about two hours of talks with the former U.N. secretary-general.

There was no immediate comment from Annan after the meeting, aimed at halting bloodshed that has cost thousands of lives since a popular uprising erupted a year ago.

While they discussed the crisis, Syrian troops were assaulting the northwestern city of Idlib, a rebel bastion.

“Regime forces have just stormed into Idlib with tanks and heavy shelling is now taking place,” said an activist contacted by telephone, the sound of explosions punctuating the call.

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March 10, 2012 - Posted by | Syria | , ,

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