• Germany edition
 
Syrian opposition calls for help in Munich
Photo: DPA

Syrian opposition calls for help in Munich

Published: 02 Feb 2013 09:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Feb 2013 09:55 GMT+01:00

Freshly re-inaugurated US Vice President Joe Biden, who on Friday met Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, traveled to Munich, where he will turn his attention to Syria amid fears the conflict may spill over the country's borders.

He is scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Syrian opposition chief Moaz al-Khatib, and also see UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in the southern German city, the White House said.

Outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran is stepping up its support for the Syrian regime and that Russia is still arming it, heightening concerns after Damascus threatened to retaliate over a reported Israeli air raid.

"What we would like to see from other countries, including Russia, is an acknowledgement that (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad must go and that there needs to be a transition within Syria to a new government," said Ben Rhodes, a White House national security adviser.

Khatib on Friday said the international community must not be a "bystander" to the "tragedy" of the Syrian people and reiterated his willingness to talk to the regime.

He joined UN-Arab League envoy Brahimi for late-night panel talks at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

"As a gesture of good will... we are ready to sit at the negotiating table with the regime but we don't want their hands to be full of blood," Khatib said calling for the release of detainees.

In a surprise move Wednesday, Khatib announced he was ready for dialogue with officials of President Bashar al-Assad's regime subject to conditions, including that "160,000 detainees" are released.

But the opposition Syrian National Coalition said on Thursday that any talks on the country's political future must be about the departure of the regime of Assad.

Asked what Khatib would ask of the US and other governments, he said, speaking through an interpreter, "everything you would provide us with to end the injustice is acceptable".

"The Syrian people are living a tragedy right now," he added.

He called for "some kind of electronic interference" to prevent the aircraft of the regime shelling the Syrian people.

"If that doesn't work I would demand to destroy the planes and weapons of the Syrian regime because it is just not acceptable for the international community to be a bystander just watching what's happening to the Syrian people," he said.

"We hate war, we do not advocate war... I am warning if this crisis persists it would have grave ramifications on the whole region," he added.

AFP/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:56 February 2, 2013 by raandy
What has changed from ousting these dictators, like Mubarak, Gadhafi,Ali Abdullah Saleh, certainly the wind of democracy is not blowing anywhere there.We will soon be able to ad Asad to this list of the ousted and replaced with democracy? doubt it.
Today's headlines
'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria
A screen grab from a jihadist video showing the grenades. Photo: DPA

'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria

The German military was on Wednesday investigating reports that Bundeswehr hand grenades have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State (Isis) terrorist group after a video appearing to show captured weapons surfaced on the Internet. READ  

North braces for storms and floods
Early signs of flooding at the Hamburg fish market on Wednesday morning.

North braces for storms and floods

The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. READ  

Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt
A passenger plane landing at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt

Three teenage girls from Colorado were arrested by German police at Frankfurt airport after running away from home, reportedly on their way to join Isis in Syria. READ  

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine
Tuesday night's rescue operation Photo: DPA

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine

Six people, including a family and two American tourists, were left dangling 40 metres in the air over the Rhine for hours late on Tuesday after Cologne's cable car came to a halt. READ  

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome
Arjen Robben celebrates the first goal against AS Roma. Photo: DPA

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome

Bayern Munich were elated on Tuesday night after seuring a 7-1 victory against Roma in their group stage Champions League clash. READ  

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast
A preserved World War II U-Boat on the beach near Kiel, Germany. Photo: DPA

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast

A World War II German U-boat and an American merchant vessel it sank in battle have been found deep in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, officials said on Tuesday. READ  

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

Opinion
Do German unions have too much power?
Lufthansa passengers rush to change their flights at Frankfurt Airport on Monday. Photo: DPA

Do German unions have too much power?

Germany's pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? READ  

Older workers can have extra days off, court says
Photo: Workers in a German shoe factory. Photo: DPA

Older workers can have extra days off, court says

Older workers in Germany are allowed more time off than younger ones, a court ruled on Tuesday, saying the difference was not discriminatory. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,488
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd