Friends of Syria agree in London no role for Assad in transition

The 11 foreign ministers meeting in London to discuss the Syrian crisis agreed that Bashar Assad can have no role in the country’s future government. This was the main Syrian opposition demand for its participation in Geneva II. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague reaffirmed the view of the Friends of Syria group – Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Italy, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE and the US – that Geneva II must be about a political transition in Syria away from the Assad regime. But he called on the moderate Syrian opposition to commit itself fully to planned peace talks on a transition. Iran as yet has no role in Geneva II, but Hague said he was trying to use new positive diplomatic relations with Iran to encourage it to play a "more constructive role" – but that required Iran to back a "transitional government in Syria made up of regime and opposition, by mutual consent".


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