MOSCOW, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ouster is no precondition to solve his country's crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.
The idea that Assad must exit first was a precondition, "which is not mentioned in the Geneva Communique and cannot be fulfilled," Lavrov said after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kozhara.
His comments came two days after meeting in Geneva with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League peace envoy on Syria, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.
Assad last week proposed a plan to resolve the crisis which includes a national reconciliation conference, the formation of a new government and an amnesty.
The Syrian opposition has rejected the peace initiative, calling it "empty rhetoric."
Lavrov described Assad's initiatives as not "far-reaching," and appealed for Syrian opposition's ideas as to "how to enter a dialogue," the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Syria has been engulfed in a bloody civil war between opposition forces and government troops since March 2011. According to UN estimates, over 60,000 people have since been killed.