Syria's deputy PM fired for foreign meetings
Syria's Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil was fired from his post Tuesday for participating in unauthorized foreign meetings, according to Reuters.
Syria's state news SANA reported that Syrian President Bashar Assad fired Jamil Tuesday following the deputy PM's meeting with US Ambassador Robert Ford on Saturday ahead of proposed Geneva peace talks. Jamil was cited as being "[absent] without authorization from his post" as well as "activities and meetings outside the country without authorization from the government."
The proposed Geneva talks, outlined in the US-Russia brokered plan to end the conflict in Syria, have faced scrutiny in recent weeks from both opposition and regime supporters, with many members from the rebel forces undecided on whether they will attend. Some opposition leaders have already announced that they will not engage in the talks, with some groups saying that anyone who attends the talks will be considered a traitor. Other rebel groups, however, are still undecided and will meet in Istanbul in early November to determine whether or not they will participate. The Syrian opposition National Coalition (SNC) has previously stated that Assad's resignation must be on the table for discussion at Geneva, or else the group will boycott the talks.
Assad further cast doubts on the success of the talks earlier this month, and further stipulated that he will not engage in negotiations with "any group tied to the rebels fighting his forces or to foreign states" according to the report.
In related news from Tuesday, SANA said Assad issued a general amnesty for all crimes committed before October 29, 2013 according to the Reuters report.