UAE supports 'non-sectarian' change in Syria: FM

The UAE supports a "non-sectarian" change in power in Syria, the WAM official news agency quoted the country’s foreign minister as saying after he met with a top Syrian opposition leader.

"The United Arab Emirates supports a non-sectarian future change of government in Syria," Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahayan said late Tuesday after he met with the opposition National Coalition's chief, Ahmed Moaz Al Khatib in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE minister reiterated his country's support for the mission of UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, currently in Syria pushing a fresh initiative to end the conflict ravaging the country for the past 21 months.

The UAE backs Brahimi's efforts "to end ongoing violence in Syria and to find an overall peaceful agreement to this crisis and ... achieve a modern Syria which accepts all  its people without hatred and revenge," said Abdullah.

Diplomats in New York said Brahimi's latest talks with Syria's President Bashar Al Assad produced no sign of a willingness to negotiate, and there are mounting warnings of a sectarian war taking over the uprising against Assad.

As the conflict has escalated, the main opposition groups have become more radicalised, analysts say.

The Gulf Cooperation Council states, of which the UAE is a member, had called on Tuesday for a rapid political transition in Syria where more than 44,000 people are estimated to have been killed since the eruption in March 2011 of the uprising against the Syrian regime.

What began as a peaceful revolt had morphed into an armed insurgency when forces of Assad unleashed a brutal crackdown on dissent.


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