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Geneva-2 Starts with Fiery Accusations as Syrian Parties Stand Firm

World | January 22, 2014, Wednesday // 15:23| Views: 561 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Geneva-2 Starts with Fiery Accusations as Syrian Parties Stand Firm Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem at the Geneva-2 conference. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Representatives of the Syrian regime and the Syrian opposition exchanged harsh remarks at the start of the Geneva-2 peace conference.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem blamed some states attending the conference as "having Syrian blood on their hands", and added that only the Syrian people have the right to decide the fate of the government.

His opening speech went well above the allotted 10 minutes, the BBC reports.

The US State Department condemned Mr. Muallem's remarks as "inflammatory".

The head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad Jarba displayed photographs depicting alleged systematic torture and execution of opposition members by the Assad regime. Mr. Jarba compared the human rights violations in Syria to those in Nazi Germany.

The opposition leader urged the government to immediately sign the Geneva document and hand over power, since "for the Syrians, time is now blood".

The two will meet again on Friday, when the talks will be in private, but a breakthrough seems highly unlikely for the time being.

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Tags: US state department, Geneva-2, opposition, ahmad jarba, Syrian, National Coalition, Walid Muallem, Syria, Assad
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