Syrian opposition rejects President Assad’s offer of concessions

Syrian opposition activists have dismissed the government’s calls for dialogue and offer of an amnesty for those involved in clashes between protesters and state security forces, Al-Jazeera reported on Thursday.

Syrian opposition members, many of whom live abroad, gathered on Tuesday in the Turkish coastal city of Antalya for a three-day conference that “hopes to create a representative body that can be accepted by the protesters inside Syria,” Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian pro-democracy activist, told Al-Jazeera.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday established a special committee to set up bases for national dialogue that would allow national movements “to express their ideas, present their suggestions and notions regarding the social, economic and political life future in Syria,” Syrian state news agency Sana quoted Assad as saying.

Al-Jazeera said that the opposition members have dismissed Assad’s initiative, saying that this can take place only once the violence ends, political prisoners are freed and reforms adopted.

The participants of the conference also have rejected an amnesty, granted by Assad on Tuesday to the representatives of political movements, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. The opposition activists said that the state-backed amnesty was aimed at the murderers, but not at the victims.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in clashes with police and security forces and over 10,000 protesters have been detained since protests demanding Assad’s resignation broke out in Syria in mid-March, according to local human rights organizations.

MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti)

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