Syria’s FM: No transition plan without Assad

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria’s foreign minister says his government will not accept any transition peace plan that excludes President Bashar Assad.

The foreign minister spoke today on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, a day after the Security Council approved a resolution that obliges Syria’s government to comply with an international plan to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal. The resolution also endorsed the outcome of the Geneva conference between the government and the opposition in June 2012, which called for the establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers.

The Syrian opposition, which has been embroiled in a bloody conflict with Assad’s forces for two and a half years, has repeatedly said it will not take part in any transition government that includes the president.

The latest statement from the foreign minister could mean that efforts to organize a second meeting of the opposition and the government later this year in Geneva may fail.

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