SYRIAN OPPOSITION TO REJECT ANAN PLAN
- Syrian opposition groups will reject a political transition plan proposed by peace envoy Kofi Annan unless it explicitly requires President Bashar Al Assad to quit before a unity government is formed, a senior opposition official said today.
Citing Diplomatic sources at the United Nations, Reuters reported that Mr Annan's proposal, aimed at ending the 16-month conflict in Syria, does not stipulate Mr Assad's resignation although it does say the unity government could not include figures who jeopardise stability.
"The proposal is still murky to us but I can tell you that if it does not clearly state that Assad must step down, it will be unacceptable to us," said Mr Samir Nashar, an executive member of the international Syrian National Council.
To win UN backing, the plan must have the support of Syria's powerful ally Russia, which has so far rebuffed Western attempts to force Assad to cede power as rank interference in the country's sovereignty.
For the opposition, Assad's departure is imperative.
"If the proposal said Assad must step down, then the idea of allowing other members of the current government to participate could be open to discussion," Mr Nashar said.
But rebel fighters locked in the war to topple Mr Assad said there was no part of the plan they could accept, and they had lost patience with UN envoy Annan's peace-making efforts.
"This is just a new labyrinth. It is new silliness for us to get lost in and haggle over who can participate and who can't," said Mr Ahmed, a Free Syrian Army fighter in Homs, epicentre of the revolt against four decades of Assad family rule in which the more than 10,000 people have been killed, by a UN count.
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