Syrian coalition leader willing to talk to Assad

Moaz al-Khatib said he would be open to holding talks with Bashar al-Assad’s representatives to reduce bloodshed and destruction.

AMMAN  Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz al-Khatib said on Sunday he was willing to hold talks with Bashar al-Assad's representatives in rebel-held areas in northern Syria.

The talks' objective would be to find a way for Assad to leave power with the "minimum of bloodshed and destruction", al-Khatib said in a statement published on his Facebook page.

"If the regime is so concerned about sovereignty and does not want to venture out of Syrian territories then there is a suitable solution, which is the liberated land in northern Syria," al-Khatib said.

"There is an important question. Will the regime agree to leave with the minimum of blood and destruction?"

Al-Khatib, a moderate cleric in Damascus, last month offered to hold talks with Assad's ceremonial deputy Farouq al-Shara about an exit for Assad if the authorities started releasing tens of thousands of political prisoners jailed since the eruption of the 22-month uprising.

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