WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Sunday dismissed the latest initiative by Syrian President Bashar al- Assad for ending the protracted conflict in his country, reiterating the call for his ouster.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also pledged continued support for the framework of the Geneva Action Group on a political solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria.
"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," she said in a written statement.
In his latest televised speech to the nation earlier in the day, al-Assad offered a three-phase initiative to politically resolve the crisis, which includes a cease-fire, a comprehensive national dialogue on a "national charter", and the establishment of a broad- based government and parliament.
The president also described the conflict as one not between the authority and the opposition, but "between the nation and our enemies," calling for the defense of the country.
"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," Nuland said.
"Al-Assad has lost all legitimacy and must step aside to enable a political solution and a democratic transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people," she added.
The spokesperson voiced continued support for the framework endorsed in Geneva in June last year by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the Arab League and the UN General Assembly, which envisaged a Syrian-led transition.
Last week, Nuland said Brahimi would meet with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on the Syrian crisis, but the date and venue were not yet set.
About 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, according to a study released last week by the UN Human Rights Office.
DAMASCUS, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday put forward his own roadmap for a political solution to the country's 22-month old crisis, which is based on halting the international support to the armed groups currently fighting on ground.
In his first televised speech since June 4, 2012, Assad appeared among hundreds of his loyalists at the Opera House in the capital Damascus. Dressed in a black suit, the embattled leader stood on a brown podium, with a huge poster of the Syrian flag as the background, where there were also small photos of the army's martyrs. Full story
DAMASCUS, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Friday slammed as "unprofessional and not neutral" a recent report by the UN Commission of Inquiry that accused the Syrian administration of huge violations of human rights.
Last month, UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria published its latest report on the human rights situation in Syria, concluding that innocent Syrian civilians are bearing the brunt of escalating armed confrontations between the government and rebel forces.Full story