Syria: No talks with rebels until they are crushed - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Syria: No talks with rebels until they are crushed

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BEIRUT (AP) -

There's some tough talk today from Syria's government toward the rebels, just days after President Bashar Assad conceded that his forces are having trouble putting down the rebellion.

   The country's information minister has told reporters that there will be no dialogue with the opposition before the army crushes the rebels.

   It's the latest sign that President Bashar Assad is determined to solve the crisis on the battlefield, even if many more of his people have to pay with their lives.

   The information minister said, "There will be no dialogue with the opposition prior to the Syrian army's imposition of security and stability in all parts of the country."

   An opposition figure who is based in Britain is responding to the comments by saying that "the key to any dialogue will be the departure of Assad" -- and the dismantling of his security agencies.

   Earlier today, the new U.N. envoy to Syria acknowledged that brokering an end to the civil war will be a "very, very difficult" task.

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