Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad said on Wednesday that the meeting held by the Syrian Opposition in Doha amounts to "a declaration of war". He noted that the opposition groups "rejected dialogue with the government".
The Syrian opposition held a 4-day meeting in the Qatari capital, which ended with an agreement to form the "National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces". According to Mekdad, however, "Those opponents do not want to resolve the issue peacefully, while the regime calls for a national dialogue with all who want a peaceful solution." He expressed the readiness of Bashar Al-Assad's regime for "dialogue with the Syrian opposition, the leadership of which is in Syria, not … abroad."
Syria has been witnessing popular protests since mid-March 2011 demanding the overthrow of the repressive Assad regime. Thousands have been killed and wounded in clashes with government forces. Estimates put the number killed by the government at 37,000 men, women and children.