Western, Arab diplomats decide for future Syrian government

Western, Arab diplomats decide for future Syrian government
Tue Oct 22, 2013 21:24:24

Foreign ministers from the so-called Friends of Syria have decided on their side to consider no role for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the future Syrian government.

Following a Tuesday meeting between the representatives of Syria opposition coalition and foreign ministers from Western and Arab countries supporting the multi-national militants in their war to topple the Syrian government, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said they have agreed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “would play no role” in the future of the Middle Eastern nation.

His comments come a day after Assad said that he “sees no obstacle” to his re-election bid in 2014 presidential polls.

"Personally, I don't see any obstacles to being nominated to run in the next presidential elections,” he said.

Assad reiterated that he is not holding onto power and only the will of Syrian people will influence his decision and the fate of the nation in next year’s presidential election.

"As for people's desire, it is too soon to talk about it. We can only discuss it when the election date is announced," Assad said.

The meeting of the group of 11 Western and Arab countries, which consists of the US, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, was held ahead of a planned gathering on the crisis in Syria which is called the Geneva II conference.

The Tuesday meeting also sought to persuade the foreign-backed Syrian opposition to participate in the conference scheduled to be held in Geneva next month.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.


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