May 19 - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tells an Argentine newspaper that peace talks will not curb ''terrorism'' in his country. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad repeats a familiar refrain. In an interview with Argentine newspaper Clarin Saturday, Assad again blamed "terrorists" for the civil war in his country and expressed doubts that peace talks could halt the violence. Referring to rebel fighters seeking to force his government out, Assad said he would only meet with unarmed opposition groups. He also insisted he would not resign. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic subtitles with Spanish voiceover translation) SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD SAYING: "We said from the beginning that we are prepared to talk with forces inside or outside of Syria. We don't have a problem with that, but on condition that they do not carry weapons. You cannot carry a weapon and enter into dialogue." Rebels have also expressed scepticism over mediation efforts by the US and Assad ally Russia. The outlook for talks grew dimmer Friday as the US admonished Russia for supplying weapons to Syria and France said it would oppose any meeting if Iran is invited. Tens of thousands have lost their lives in Syria as the international community struggles to find a diplomatic solution.