Syrian presidency says 'terrorism' must be eliminated before initiatives

BEIRUT - The Syrian presidency said on Tuesday the state would welcome any political solution approved by the Syrian people that preserves national unity, but added that no initiative could be carried out before "the elimination of terrorism".
The presidency said in a statement it was clarifying reports that President Bashar Assad had told a Russian delegation on Sunday he would be ready to hold parliamentary and presidential elections called for by his allies in Moscow.
"No initiative or ideas can be implemented and their success guaranteed before the elimination of terrorism and the restoration of security and stability to the whole country," the statement said.
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