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Direct talks between the Syrian government and opposition delegations are scheduled for Friday, but as the first day of talks in Switzerland drew to a close, Becky spoke to Bouthaina Shaaban. She's a Senior Adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Becky asked her why Assad was so resistant to stepping aside in the interests of peace.
"Why do they decide from the Western world that Bashar al-Assad stands in the way of peace?" Shaaban responded. "Do we have the right to decide that any Western leader is not good for his people? Or is it the people usually who decide in every country who should be a president?"
Becky also pressed Shaaban on the photos of alleged torture victims that have emerged in recent days – evidence that experts say could amount to war crimes charges. Shaaban said the pictures were simply "part of the lies" circulated about Syria in recent years.
Shaaban insisted that peace could only be achieved by the Syrian people – and not by the international community. "All Syrian people want peace, not only me, but it is not up to the people who have never been in Syria or up to the people who have been out of Syria for thirty years who don't know at all what's happening on the ground to decide how peace can be made. It is the Syrian people who are living through these horrid times who decide how peace can be made."