Syrian opposition PM: There will be no dialogue with Assad regime
ISTANBUL - Syria's opposition will not enter into dialogue with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the country's newly elected rebel prime minister said Tuesday in his inaugural speech.
"We confirm to the great Syrian people that there will be no dialogue with the Assad regime," Ghassan Hitto said.
Hitto was chosen early Tuesday by a majority of the main opposition National Coalition members, after hours of consultation among dissidents.
He will be tasked with setting up an interim government which would be based in rebel-held territory in Syria.
The election comes some two months after Coalition chief Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib proposed talks with regime officials with conditions, including that some "160,000 detainees" be released.
Some Coalition members said the election of an interim rebel premier and the establishment of a government cancelled out the possibility of talks with the regime.
"Khatib had specific conditions for talks with regime officials, and they were not met. The idea of talks fell through before the election happened," Coalition deputy Soheir Atassi said.
Another Coalition member said on condition of anonymity that main opposition player the Syrian National Council only acceded to the creation of an interim government on the condition that there would be no talks with the regime.
"Once that was agreed, the Syrian National Council gave its backing to Hitto," the member said.