11/04/2015, 00.00
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Damascus rejects "transition period" with removal of Assad

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister says that the transition process exists "only in the imagination of those who do not live in reality." "The Syrian people have confirmed that there are no alternatives to the leadership of President Assad. He was elected president by a large majority. "

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Damascus has rejected the idea of ​​a "transition period" that provides for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, as proposed by Western countries, according to Syrian Foreign Deputy Minister Faisal Mekdad, during a visit to Iran.

Significantly his statement, broadcast yesterday by Syrian state television, was pronounced in the country that has the closest alliance with Damascus. Moreover it is the first official government reaction to the hypothesis placed on the table in talks involving opposing factions of the civil war and their supporters, including Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia and Iran itself.

"We are talking about a national dialogue in Syria and an expanded government and a constitutional process. We are not at all talking about what is called a transitional period,” Mekdad said. That idea existed “only in the minds of those who do not live in reality”, he added.

“What is also important...is what the Syrian people have confirmed, which is that there is no alternative to the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad,” Mekdad said. “He is an elected president by the Syrian people and by a large majority, in transparent and democratic elections, and everyone must respect constitutional measures in Syria”.

Mekdad also said Syria had not received official notice of any meeting with members of the Syrian opposition, after a Russian official said Moscow might bring them together next week.


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