The leader of Syria's main opposition group called Monday on President Bashar Assad to respond to his overture for a dialogue to save the country from complete destruction.
Mouaz al-Khatib, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, said he is extending his hand "to facilitate the peaceful departure" of the regime and called on Assad to begin releasing tens of thousands of political prisoners as a precondition.
Al-Khatib said last week he is willing to hold talks with the regime in Egypt, Tunisia or Turkey if that would help end the bloodshed. His offer marked a departure from the mainstream opposition's narrative insisting that Assad step down before any talks and has angered some of his colleagues who accused him of acting unilaterally.
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