G7 draft dismisses 'sham' Syria election
Leaders of the Group of Seven nations will dismiss Syrian elections as a sham and call on President Bashar al-Assad to go, according to the latest draft of a communique to be released after talks late on Wednesday.
Assad won 88.7pc of the vote in Syria's presidential election, officials said on Wednesday, securing a third term in office despite a raging civil war which grew out of protests against his rule.
"We denounce the 3 June sham presidential election: there is no future for Assad in Syria," the G7 draft, obtained by Reuters, said.
Assad's opponents have dismissed the election as a charade, saying his two relatively unknown challengers offered no real alternative and that no poll held in the midst of civil war could be considered credible.
"We strongly condemn the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights and indiscriminate artillery shelling and aerial bombardment by the Syrian regime," the G7 draft said.
"There is evidence that extremist groups have also perpetrated grave human rights abuses. All those responsible for such abuses must be held to account."