DAMASCUS, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem said Saturday that Washington demanded to negotiate with the Syrian government delegation during the Geneva II conference, adding that the government has rejected the demand, the official SANA news agency reported.
Al-Mollem, speaking while onboard a plane heading to Damascus from Geneva, told the official media that "the Americans asked to negotiate with them directly in Montreux, Switzerland, but we have rejected the proposal, demanding an apology from (U.S. Secretary of State John) Kerry first."
Kerry, during the opening session of the Geneva II peace talks, said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must have no role in the future transitional period of Syria, contending Syria not safe "while Assad remains in power."
The first round of Geneva II talks concluded on Friday with no concrete progress. The second round is set to begin on Feb. 10.