Washington Says Assad's Peace Plan 'Detached from Reality'
WASHINGTON, January 7 (RIA Novosti) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's recently proposed peace plan is far from reality and proves again that he must resign from his post, Victoria Nuland, a spokesperson for the US Department of State, said.
On Sunday, Assad proposed a plan to resolve the country's crisis which includes a national reconciliation conference, the formation of a new government and an amnesty.
"Bashar al-Assad's speech today is yet another attempt by the regime to cling to power and does nothing to advance the Syrian people's goal of a political transition. His initiative is detached from reality, undermines the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, and would only allow the regime to further perpetuate its bloody oppression of the Syrian people," Nuland said in a statement.
She added that the Syrian leader, who called for a dialogue on Sunday, "lost all legitimacy and must step aside to enable a political solution and a democratic transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people."
In his rare televised speech, which was met with cheering applause by his supporters, Assad denounced the opposition as 'puppets of the West' and said Syria wanted to negotiate with the 'master not the servants.' He said the reconciliation conference would exclude 'those who have betrayed Syria.'
The Syrian leader said a national charter, which will include the main provisions of the new constitution, is to be established at the conference and put to a referendum, leading to parliamentary elections and a new government.
At least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict between government forces and the opposition, which comprises groups of all stripes, from Communists and secular liberals to Islamist groups, including Al-Qaeda.
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