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UN Secretary General 'Disappointed' by Assad's Peace Plan

RIA Novosti

22:24 07/01/2013

NEW YORK, January 7 (RIA Novosti) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is disappointed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's new peace initiative, rejected by the opposition and the West, his spokesman Martin Nesirky said on Monday.

On Sunday, al-Assad gave a speech proposing a plan to resolve the country's crisis which includes a national reconciliation conference, new constitution, the formation of a new government and an amnesty.

"The Secretary-General was disappointed that the speech by President Bashar al-Assad on 6 January does not contribute to a solution that could end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people," Nesirky said in a statement.

He said the peace initiative rejected a political transition and the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers that would include representatives of all Syrians.

"The Secretary-General and Joint Special Representative Brahimi have worked and continue to work towards a political solution to the conflict through a political transition that includes the establishment of a transitional Government and the holding of free and fair elections under the auspices of the United Nations," the statement reads.

In his rare televised speech, which was met with cheering applause by his supporters, al-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 peace initiative has been dismissed by the United States and the Syrian National Coalition.

The 21-month conflict in Syria that has claimed more than 60,000 lives, according to the UN estimates.

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