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Syria’s foreign minister says Assad stays despite UN threats

Deutsche Welle [1]
September 29, 2013

Syria’s foreign minister has said the government won’t accept any peace plan that excludes President Bashar al-Assad. On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to destroy the regime’s chemical weapons.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem made the statement Saturday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Friday’s Security Council resolution had also endorsed the outcome of a June 2012 conference in Geneva between the regime and the opposition, which called for the establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers. The Syrian opposition, embroiled in the bloody conflict with Assad’s forces for two and a half years, has repeatedly refused to take part in any transition government that includes the president.

“For the Syrian people, Bashar Assad is the elected president until mid-2014, when presidential elections will be held,” al-Moallem said. He added that anyone could run for the post.

The Council’s decision Friday came after the authority tasked with implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention – the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – had approved the plan. According to the resolution, the UN will work to assist the OPCW in its effort to eliminate all of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons by mid-2014. The 15-member council agreed that non-compliance would prompt a vote on punitive action by passing another resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, including sanctions or military strikes.

Full article here [1]