Syria is ready to cooperate with new UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, the deputy foreign minister said on Thursday, adding he hoped the veteran Algerian diplomat would help pave the way for "national dialogue".
"We have informed the United Nations that we accept the appointment of Mr Ibrahimi," Fayssal Miqdad told reporters in Damascus. "We are looking forward to seeing... what ideas he is giving for potential solutions for the problem here," he added.
"As we cooperated with the Arab and UN missions, we will definitely cooperate with Mr Brahimi if he wishes so."
Ibrahimi was appointed to replace former UN chief Kofi Annan, after he announced earlier this month that he was stepping down as envoy following the failure of his six-point peace plan.
"We are not going to tell Ibrahimi what to do before he even arrives, he is an international expert," Miqdad said. "But I think it is critical to have a good understanding of the evolution of the crisis, far from international pressures."
Miqdad said he hoped Ibrahimi would help kick-start a process of national dialogue. "There will be no winners in Syria, as the West is betting there will be," he said. "Syria will win, thanks to its people, its leader and its government, which will make the right choices in the midst of these difficult circumstances."
The deputy FM said "foreign interference" was the leading cause of the 17-month-conflict. The minister said he hoped Ibrahimi would play "an active role (in facing up to) parties who do not want a solution to the crisis and, in particular, those funding and arming terrorists, extremists and Salafists (hardline Sunni Islamists)."