The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said the opposition would not agree to a ceasefire unless Bashar al-Assad signs an agreement to step down as president of Syria.

The comments came on Wednesday as the United States and Russia prepared for the next Syrian peace talks in New York on Friday.

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“If they [US and Russia] want to fight terrorism as they say, why not get rid of the main problem, the government that is targeting civilians in Syria everyday?” SNC Vice President Naghm al-Ghadri told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

“The US and Russia have always disagreed on the fate of Bashar al-Assad, but agreed on countering [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant], which is ironic because instead of getting rid of the root of all problems, they want to tackle an off-shoot that resulted because of the government itself.

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“It is our basic right to choose what we want for our country. We are not be waiting for anyone to tell us the fate of a Syrian leader lies with the Syrian people. We were born with this right.

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