Friday 20 October 2017

Syria 'will not hand over power'

Omran al-Zoubi says the Syrian government will not discuss handing over power at peace talks to be held in Switzerland (AP)
Omran al-Zoubi says the Syrian government will not discuss handing over power at peace talks to be held in Switzerland (AP)

Syria's information minister says government officials will not discuss handing over power or forming a transitional government at peace talks planned for later this month in Switzerland.

Omran al-Zoubi's comments come before a Syrian envoy is to meet Russian and US officials in Geneva to assess prospects for the peace conference between President Bashar Assad's government and a united opposition, as the country's civil war rages into its third year.

Members of the exiled and Western-backed opposition group insist Assad be excluded from Syria's future leadership for any talks to take place.

In an interview with Syrian state TV, al-Zoubi said Geneva talks are part of a political process, "and not a handover of power or forming a transitional governing body".

AP

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