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International talks on Syria end without decision on Assad's future role

July 1, 2012 - Beirut

An international conference has reportedly accepted a UN-brokered peace plan for Syria, but left open the key question of whether and how the country's President Bashar al-Assad would have to step aside.

The international meeting on Saturday in Geneva has agreed to support the creation of a transitional body in Syria that would lead a UN-backed political transition.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Kofi Annan, the special envoy on Syria who convened the meeting, said. Assad's role in a transition would have to be determined by Syrians themselves.

He said he hoped to see results from the process 'within a year,' the paper said.

Officials at the meeting also said any chance for a political transition to succeed rests on the willingness of the Syrian regime and government to cooperate.

According to the paper, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that peace plan for Syria agreed on by major powers does not require the ouster of Assad.

Sergey Lavrov says there is 'no attempt in the document to impose on the Syrian people any type of transitional process'.

Meanwhile, Assad, who has characterized the country's conflict as a war, said ahead of the meeting that he would not accept any solution imposed by international powers.


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