Brahimi Urges 'Real Change' as Opposition Rejects Assad in Political Transitionإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Thursday called for "real" change in war-torn Syria and the installation of a transition government with full powers until elections can be held.
"We need to form a government with all powers... which assumes power during a period of transition. That transition period will end with (presidential or parliamentary) elections," the U.N. and Arab League envoy told reporters.
Brahimi made the remarks at a news conference in Damascus, during his latest bid to persuade Syria's warring parties to negotiate an end to the 21-month conflict estimated to have killed at least 45,000 people.
The Algerian diplomat had arrived in Syria on Sunday for his first visit to the country since October.
A diplomat at the U.N. Security Council said, however, that the veteran troubleshooter had received no support from either side during his talks in Syria.
Meanwhile, Syria's opposition National Coalition replied to Brahimi's proposal on Thursday, saying it would agree to any solution for a political transition as long as it excludes President Bashar Assad and his family.
"We will accept any political solution that does not include the Assad family nor those who harmed the Syrian people," Coalition spokesman Walid al-Bunni told a press conference in Istanbul.
"Our first condition for them is to leave the country," Bunni said in remarks translated from Arabic, referring to the Assad family and the regime's inner circle.
Brahimi is to hold talks on Saturday with Moscow, the most powerful ally of President Bashar Assad's regime, at the request of the envoy, Russia's foreign ministry said.
The conflict in Syria has killed more than 45,000 people since it began with a brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrations in March 2011, according to rights groups.
Western media reports have speculated on a new Russia-U.S. initiative that would allow Assad to stay in power. Moscow has already denied the existence of any such joint plans.