Syrians Brand World Talks on Crisis a Failureإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Both official media and an opposition group on Sunday branded as a failure a world powers deal on a transition plan for Syria a day after at least 120 people were reported killed in violence nationwide.
World powers meeting in Geneva on Saturday agreed a transition plan that could include current regime members, but the West did not see any role for President Bashar Assad in a new unity government.
Russia and China insisted that Syrians themselves must decide how the transition happens, rather than allow others to dictate their fate.
Moscow and Beijing, which have twice blocked U.N. Security Council resolutions on Syria, both signed up to the final agreement that did not make any explicit call for Assad to cede power.
Official Syrian media and the opposition Local Coordination Committees (LCC) group demonstrated rare agreement in slamming the outcome.
The meeting "failed," trumpeted Al-Baath, newspaper of the ruling party.
"The agreement of the task force on Syria in Geneva on Saturday resembles an enlarged meeting of the UN Security Council where the positions of participants remained the same," it said.
The LCC, which organizes protests on the ground in Syria, said the outcome showed once again the failure to adopt a common position.
It called the transition accord "just one version, different in form only, of the demands of Russian leaders allied to the Assad regime and who cover it militarily and politically in the face of international pressure."
Burhan Ghalioun, a senior member and former head of the SNC, told pan-Arab television Al-Arabiya that "this is the worst international statement yet to emerge from talks on Syria."
According to the opposition coalition's official Facebook page, he described the plan as a "farce."
Ghalioun called a "mockery" the notion that Syrians should negotiate with "their executioner, who has not stopped killing, torturing... and raping women for 16 months."
SNC spokeswoman Basma Qadmani told AFP in Ankara there were some "positive elements" in the deal, although "important elements remain too ambiguous... and the plan is too vague to foresee real and immediate action."
"The first one is that the final declaration says that the participants agree to say that the Assad family cannot rule the country any more, and therefore the Assad family cannot lead the transition period."
"The second positive element is the agreement that the transition should comply with the legitimate aspirations of Syrian people.
"For us this means that Assad should go because Syrian people have already said that they want Assad to go."
At least 120 people were killed, mostly civilians, on Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights said.
On Sunday, at least nine people were killed, the watchdog said.
Regime forces also shelled several neighborhoods of the central city of Homs and blasts were heard in Damascus, it added.
The Geneva deal came despite initial pessimism about the prospects of the talks amid deep divisions between the West and China and Russia on how to end the violence that the Observatory says has killed more than 15,800 since March 2011.
U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said it was up to the Syrians to decide who they wanted in a unity government.
But he added: "I would doubt that Syrians... would select people with blood on their hands to lead them."
The United States and France both said it was clear there was no future role for Assad.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague admitted the deal was a "compromise agreement" as Russia played up the fact that it had convinced other world powers that it would be "unacceptable" to exclude any party from the transition.
Moscow is loath to cast ally Assad aside, even as relations between them have cooled.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "How exactly the work on a transition to a new stage is conducted will be decided by the Syrians themselves."
"There are no demands to exclude from this process any one group. This aspect had been present in many of our partners' proposals. We have convinced them that this is unacceptable."
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also stressed that "outsiders cannot make decisions for the Syrian people."
Annan warned at the opening of the meeting that history would not look favorably on leaders who failed to chart a strategy to end the bloodshed.
"History is a somber judge -- and it will judge us all harshly if we prove incapable of taking the right path today," Annan told the five permanent Security Council members -- the United States, Russia, Britain, China and France -- as well as regional powers Qatar, Turkey, Kuwait and Iraq.