President Assad: Syria Ready for Peace Talks
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a private message to Pope Francis, said the Syrian government is ready to participate in the Geneva-2 peace conference next month.
Assad added that outside countries "must stop supporting terrorist groups in the country's civil war", Syria's state-run news agency reported.
"The crisis will be solved through national dialogue among the Syrians and under a Syrian leadership, without foreign intervention so as to enable the Syrians to determine their future and leadership through ballots," the message stated.
The Syrian president also expressed his appreciation for how Pope Francis has recently called upon ceasing violence and suffering in Syria.