In a statement reported by the Interfax news agency Sunday, Syrian President Bashar Assad announced that he is not ready to give up power and the issue is not up for discussion. He said: "If we wanted to surrender, we would have surrendered from the start (of the country's civil war.” The statement came after Syria’s main opposition group voted in favor of attending the peace conference opening in Switzerland in three days time and scheduled to discuss a political transition in Damascus for ending the nearly three-year Syrian civil war. This would be the first face-to-face between any Syrian opposition faction and the Assad regime.