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Syrian Foreign Minister Rejects Discussion Of Assad's Future


Security personnel and civilians gather at the site of a large blast in a neighborhood of Aleppo on January 18. State television blamed the explosion on "terrorists," a term used to describe antigovernment rebels.
Syria's foreign minister says any discussion of President Bashar al-Assad's future is "unacceptable."

The statement from Walid al-Moallem on January 19 came just a week after United Nations and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said the president should not be part of a transitional government.

Speaking on state television, Moallem also invited the country's rebels to lay down their weapons and take part in a dialogue conference.

He said that everyone who participates will be included in a new cabinet with wide executive powers.

The Syrian opposition rejected the proposal.

The ambassador in Paris for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Monzer Makhous, said the opposition will never establish a government with the Assad regime because it was refusing to move toward a political solution.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters